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Global Lessons from the Restoration Story of Sudbury, Canada

Couldn't attend COP15? Watch the presentation recording!

Sudbury's Regreening Story

Once the world’s largest atmospheric source of sulphur pollution, with vast associated biodiversity damages, Sudbury revitalized its reputation through restoration efforts.

Laurentian University at the COP15 Canadian Pavilion showcases the community’s restoration achievements, which include: 

  • 98% reduction in air pollution from a still thriving industry;

  • near-elimination of air quality advisories;

  • 10 million community planted trees and shrubs;

  • 50% restoration of lost sport fish populations;

  • >3M tons of sequestered carbon in new urban forest;

  • 22% conversion of damage zone into parks and reserves;

  • delisting of a COSEWIC species (aurora trout);

  • and an emerging biotech industry based on sustainable harvest of critical metals for the e-economy. 

Successful restoration was only made possible by an engaged public, extensive partnerships, academic and citizen science, government regulations, and creative industrial innovations. Sudbury’s cleanup helped facilitate the 1991 USA/Canada Acid Rain Treaty and now the “Sudbury Recipe” for restoring damaged landscapes is widely shared and adopted globally.

Now is an integral time to be sharing this knowledge in the midst of the biodiversity crisis. The work that the Laurentian community has done to aid in the regreening process is a crucial aspect of Sudbury’s success. The delegation from Laurentian University is excited to share our biodiversity success story as a model and symbol of hope for other industrially impacted communities.

Before and After Regreening

45 years of Sudbury, Canada's landscape restoration, then and now (1978-2022).

Sudbury's landscape before and after regreening.

Laurentian Delegates Contact Information

Dr. John Gunn

Vale Living With Lakes Centre Director and Canada Research Chair

Anastacia Chartrand 

Environmental Sustainability Committee Chair

Avery Morin

Student General Association President

Learn More

Learn more about the Sudbury Story - Environmental Remediation Modular Executive Course Registration:


City of Sudbury Regreening Program:


Regreening Action Plan: (for general improvement of biodiversity in Sudbury):


Jane Goodall Reasons For Hope IMAX Film with Science North:


COP15 Convention on Biological Diversity: