The Relationship between Reclamation and Sustainable Economic Development

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Chris Powter
Neil Chymko
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Sustainable economic development promotes environmentally sound economic development and growth. It does this by integrating environmental and economic planning. In this context, Alberta Environment's mandate is "to achieve the protection, improvement, and wise use of our environment now and in the future" (Alberta Environment 1990). From a land conservation perspective, this means that our objectives are to avoid irreparable environmental damage and ensure that Alberta's land resources are returned to productive use. The Alberta Land Conservation and Reclamation Council is charged with ensuring that developments are planned, conducted and reclaimed in such a manner that the land is returned to a capability equivalent to that prior to the disturbance.

Reclamation of the land surface is what makes non-renewable resource developments sustainable. We must continue to strive to improve our science so that we can prove to regulators and the public that large developments are compatible with sustainable development. We must also greatly improve our communications with the public regarding the efforts we make towards sustainable economic development. The CLRA/ACRSD is an ideal forum to start promoting reclamation to the public.