$1-million investment in wetland conservation supports communities across the Prairies
A landmark gift from Pembina Pipeline Corporation is ensuring working landscapes across the Canadian Prairies also work for conservation. Its $1-million investment in Ducks Unlimited Canada’s (DUC) Revolving Land Conservation Program will protect approximately 2,000 acres (809 hectares) of important wetland habitat. At the same time, communities across Alberta and Saskatchewan will profit from a host of environmental benefits.
“Pembina’s generous contribution is a bold and commendable statement about the value they place on sustainability,” says Karla Guyn, CEO for DUC. “We’re fortunate to have partners like Pembina who are stepping forward as conservation leaders and responsible corporate neighbours.”
The Revolving Land Conservation Program is an innovative and collaborative approach to conservation. It’s especially effective in areas like the Prairies where demand for land is high. Through the program, DUC purchases land with high conservation value and restores the wetlands and grasslands on the property. The land is then sold back to producers with a conservation easement placed on the title. The easement protects the natural habitat, while allowing subsequent owners of the property to use the land in their operation through haying or grazing. Funds from the sale of the land provide DUC with the capital to repeat the cycle.
“The revolving model allows Pembina’s support to be continually leveraged, funding conservation for years to come,” says Guyn. “It’s a powerful way to forge an environmental, economic, and social legacy.”
The program is also designed to keep land in the hands of private owners. It supports agricultural interests, while protecting important areas for conservation—delivering both economic and environmental wins.
“Our partnership with DUC is a natural fit,” says Ian Balfour, vice-president, gas services at Pembina. “It promotes sustainable industry practices, acknowledges a working landscape and supports local communities. We look forward to witnessing this important conservation work come to life in the backyards of our families, friends and stakeholders.”
The wetland and grassland areas Pembina is helping conserve are some of the most important ecosystems on the planet. As a result, people living in the area have much to gain. Wetlands naturally filter harmful nutrients and pollutants from water, keeping lakes and rivers clean. They reduce the effects on communities from costly and devastating floods. Wetlands also store large amounts of carbon, keeping it from being released into the atmosphere as greenhouse gas. Homes for wildlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation round out the list of impressive environmental benefits.
The importance of conserving Canada’s wetlands is something Pembina has long recognized. The company’s investment in the Revolving Land Conservation Program builds on its past support of DUC programs at the Evergreen Learning and Innovation Centre in Grande Prairie. Here, DUC provides industry professionals with training and best practices that can be applied when operating near wetlands in Canada’s boreal forest.
“Pembina is proud to play a role in equipping fellow stakeholders with the resources they need to work sustainably,” says Balfour.
Pembina’s $1-million commitment to DUC will be invested over the next three years. Several Revolving Land Conservation projects in Alberta and Saskatchewan will begin this spring.