One of the most common questions about oil sands development is whether or not the post-development reclamation landscape will create successful habitats capable of sustaining plants and wildlife.
While Shell’s ongoing work on progressive reclamation has yielded several success stories, a new environmental certification will further enhance our ability to demonstrate what we are learning and how we use those insights to improve our progress on wildlife habitat management.
In November 2015, Shell’s oil sands mining operation Shell Albian Sands received its Conservation Certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), an international non-profit organization that promotes and certifies habitat conservation and management on corporate lands.
Paul Knaga, Wildlife and Biodiversity Specialist at Shell Albian Sands, is responsible for facilitating and enhancing wildlife habitat on reclamation areas. He says the certification acknowledges Shell’s efforts above and beyond government requirements.
“WHC is really pleased with what we have done, and has been great with giving feedback and recommendations to help us build on our progress,” Paul says. “Conservation Certification recognizes the work we have done, but more importantly it provides us with an improved framework to guide our work.”
WHC Conservation Certification requires Shell to:
- demonstrate how we enhance habitat using standardized monitoring
- assess our work at regular intervals
- share any new insights we might discover
- find ways to include local communities in our work