Land Management


We aspire to be world leaders in land management, restoring the land and preserving biodiversity of plants and animals. 


COSIA’s Land Environmental Priority Area (EPA) is focused on reducing the environmental impacts of oil sands mining and in situ operations on the land and wildlife of northern Alberta.

Through collaborating with universities, government and research institutes, industry, and the wider public, the Land EPA brings together world-class expertise to address complex issues related to land management within Alberta’s boreal forests.

Performance goal

COSIA’s Land Performance Goal is focused on increasing land-use efficiency and reducing the operating footprint intensity of in situ operations.

Operational In Situ Land

Reduce the operating footprint intensity of in situ operations from 2012 levels by 10 per cent, by 2022

COSIA's Land Performance Goal is focused on increasing land-use efficiency and reducing the operating footprint intensity of in situ operations. 

The Land EPA identified key issues facing the industry and is working to address the following:

  • footprint intensity reduction — reducing the extent and duration of in situ industrial footprints by using land more efficiently;
  • accelerate reclamation — reclaiming and restoring disturbed land in a timely manner;
  • conserving biodiversity — maintaining natural diversity including bird, mammal, amphibian and fish species, with a focus on 'species of management concern'.
Caribou in Northern Alberta

Caribou Knowledge Extension Library

The oil sands industry is focused on continuing to reduce its footprint intensity and effects on northern Alberta land and wildlife, in particular species at risk such as the boreal population of woodland caribou. Through COSIA and the Regional Industry Caribou Collaboration (RICC), the oil sands industry is aggressively working on innovative and sustainable approaches to boreal caribou recovery. Numerous initiatives are underway to help recover caribou populations and restore their habitat in northeastern Alberta.

Explore our Caribou Knowledge Extension Library to learn more about what we're doing. 



Forest Restoration Virtual Tours

Virtual reality isn’t just for video games anymore. Using virtual reality, you can see how the newest and best techniques in forest restoration work. We’re helping accelerate innovation in practice by bringing the field to you.

COSIA member companies led by Cenovus Energy Inc., in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada, have developed virtual tours with impressive 360- degree pictures, so you can see how applying the right forest restoration techniques can make a big difference.

Oil sands reclamation

Oil Sands Annual Land Reclamation Tracking

Oil sands companies have been reporting land disturbance and reclamation activities to the Alberta Energy Regulator for many years. In 2009, the definitions were updated and the oil sands mine companies began using consistent definitions, ensuring that any given piece of land is only tracked in one category at a time. The new definitions were subsequently applied to the reporting for the in situ oil sands companies, ensuring greater consistency across the two oil sands sectors. 

Land cannot be categorized as permanently reclaimed until revegetation has occurred, which is reflective of authorized plans. Land that is certified is returned to the Crown, confirmed to have met the expectations of equivalent land capability. 


Open source innovation

COSIA's Innovation Opportunities provide focused, actionable descriptions of the current state of opportunities related to environmental processes and impacts of the oil sands industry. Case Studies include everything from theoretical papers to lab tests to field trials and everything in between. In Research, you'll find considerable resources in academic literature research, laboratory research and environmental studies.

Collaborate with us

Our Environmental Technology Assessment Portal (E-TAP) provides an effective means to tap into the global environmental sector for solutions to current and future technology gaps and opportunities. If you have a technology idea you would like to submit on a non-confidential basis to COSIA for consideration then we invite you to submit your idea.