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Conservation and Stewardship Approach




An ethic whereby citizens, industry, communities and governments work together to responsibly care for and manage Alberta’s natural resources and environment.


The responsible preservation, management and care of our land and of our natural and cultural resources.



- Excerpts from Land-use Framework glossary (2008) -



These concepts aren’t new to Albertans. Conservation and stewardship are a shared responsibility. Working together, land users, landowners and the government have a responsibility to protect and enhance the environment.



Shared Responsibility


Clean water and air, healthy habitat, abundant fish and wildlife species occur on both public and private lands and are public goods that Albertans enjoy and value. Working to ensure a supply of these goods comes at a cost and on private lands this cost is left largely on the shoulders of private landowners. If Albertans value the variety of landscapes on private and public lands and the goods they provide, we must find new ways to share the costs of conserving them.


Stewardship is a shared responsibility. While Alberta landowners and land users have a strong tradition of stewardship, current efforts need to keep pace with Alberta's rapid growth. The Government of Alberta has a responsibility to support land stewardship and conservation, and to partner with Albertans, stakeholders, industry, and other levels of government to facilitate new stewardship opportunities and strategies to protect and enhance the environment.


The Land-use Framework commits the Government of Alberta to developing a conservation and stewardship strategy that includes the following elements:



Private Land Stewardship


Private land is owned by individuals, groups, companies or organizations that decide, within existing laws, how the land they own will be used. The Government of Alberta supports and encourages stewardship of private lands in Alberta through development of applicable incentives and market-based instruments. This includes opportunities at the municipal level for stewardship and conservation initiatives on private lands such as:





Public Land Stewardship


Public land is shared by all Albertans. The Government of Alberta manages public lands for a variety of purposes and values. An important aspect of this is to conserve ecological sensitive lands and natural resources. The management of these lands is supported by a regulatory framework and non-regulatory approaches. To further encourage the stewardship of these lands, the Government of Alberta is evaluating market-based incentives that are applicable in Alberta. These include:


  • Tradable disturbance rights
  • Land conservation off-sets (having potential to be applied on both public and private lands)
  • Lease-swapping and dealing with existing tenure rights in ecologically sensitive areas (having potential to be applied on both public and private lands).