Cenovus Caribou Habitat Restoration Project

By: Cenovus

The Cenovus Caribou Habitat Restoration project has undertaken a significant endeavour to address the environmental challenges posed by development activities in the Boreal Forest of northern Alberta. This initiative aims to restore legacy seismic disturbances, which contribute to forest fragmentation, habitat degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions, particularly impacting caribou populations in the region. By utilizing techniques such as soil mounding and tree planting, the project seeks to return forest cover to disturbed areas and mitigate the impacts of fragmentation on wildlife. The project is focused on restoring seismic disturbances in the Cold Lake Caribou range to sustain healthy caribou populations while also developing and sharing technical and scientific capacity in forest habitat restoration.

Aligned with their corporate values, which prioritize protection, excellence, improvement, and collaboration, the project actively involves local communities, including the Cold Lake First Nation, Bonnyville, and Cold Lake communities, as well as other industry stakeholders through shared results and engagement efforts.

Over the years, the project has treated over 100,000 hectares and planted 1.6 million trees, making it the largest project of its kind globally. Through ongoing engagement with Indigenous communities and alignment with reconciliation efforts, the project fulfills an unmet need by integrating forest restoration as a foundational expectation for industry and government, supporting treaty rights and community priorities.

Moreover, the project significantly impacts climate change mitigation by sequestering approximately 900 kg of CO2e per hectare annually. This effort has garnered recognition and support, including funding from Emissions Reduction Alberta, further demonstrating its environmental benefits.