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 footprint intensity and impact of oil sands mining and in situ (in place) operations on the land and wildlife of northern Alberta.

Through collaborations with universities, government and research institutes, industry, Aboriginal communities and the wider public, the Land EPA is bringing together world-class expertise to address complex issues related to integrated 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.


Reduce the operating footprint intensity of in situ operations by 10% by 2022

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

  • footprint intensity reduction — more efficient use of land by reducing the extent and duration of industrial footprints;
  • accelerate reclamation — reclaiming and restoring disturbed land in a timely manner;
  • preserve biodiversity — maintaining natural diversity including bird, mammal and fish species with a focus on species of management concern.

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.

boreal forest

Oil Sands Annual Land Disturbance Tracking

Since 2009, the oil sands mines have reported annually to the Alberta Energy Regulator their land disturbance and reclamation activities. The reporting uses consistent definitions which ensures that any given piece of land is only tracked in one category at a time. 

Land cannot be listed as permanently reclaimed until revegetation has occurred, which is reflective of the authorized plans. Land that is certified is returned to the Crown, confirmed to have met the expectations of equivalent land capability and no longer attached to the project. 

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.