August 29th, 2013
CEMA Launches Wildlife Species Habitat Database for Oilsands
Fort McMurray, Alberta – The Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) has launched a database of wildlife species habitat models used in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR). The purpose of this database is to compile and summarize the state of the knowledge of the wildlife species habitat models used in the AOSR during the preparation of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), Supplementary Information Requests, and Closure Planning phases of oil sands projects from 1990 to the present. The database is live on the CEMA website and available for all interested parties operating in the oil sands region.
The Wildlife Task Group of CEMA’s Reclamation Working Group completed a study on the Synthesis of Habitat Models Used in the Oil Sands Region in 2011. The results of the habitat models synthesis were compiled into the database which includes a summary of each model reviewed in the report.
“This project was initiated following the publication of the Guidelines for Reclamation to Forest Vegetation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region in 2010, to address uncertainty regarding the validation status of habitat models used for predicting environmental effects in EIAs and for closure planning, and for the reclamation guidance developed based on habitat suitability indices derived from unvalidated models,” added Lorne Gould, Chair of the Wildlife Task Group. “Twenty two oil sands operations EIAs and 228 species habitat models in the EIA documents were reviewed and the results have been complied into this new database that will assist those operating and living in the oilsands region.”
CEMA is a multi-stakeholder society that is a key advisor to Government and is committed to respectful, inclusive dialogue in the development of recommendations to manage the cumulative environmental effects of regional development on air, land, water and biodiversity.
For more information please visit www.cemaonline.ca