Ministry of Environment, Environment Sector, Families Sector, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Region, Kootenay Rockies Region, Northern B.C. Region, Provincewide, Thompson / Okanagan Region, Vancouver Coast & Mountains Region, Vancouver Island / Coast Region

Environmental reporting moves into digital age

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Environment, Families Monday, November 26, 2012 11:15 AM


KAMLOOPS - The Ministry of Environment is launching a website that brings environmental reporting into the 21st century by translating complex scientific data into interactive features and story-telling graphics that help British Columbians understand the environment.

Environment Minister Terry Lake demonstrated the new Environmental Reporting BC site: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/soe/ for students and faculty at Thompson Rivers University today, illustrating the site's engaging and user friendly layout, updated reporting features and links to open data sets.

The Ministry of Environment has established itself as a leader in Canada for environmental reporting, having published five comprehensive environmental reports and one special topic report since 1993. The Environmental Reporting BC website will continue to position B.C. at the forefront of environmental reporting, covering nine different environmental topics: water, air, plants and animals, climate change, contaminants, land, marine, sustainability, and waste.

Some of the updated reporting products include an interactive map showing the most recent 2012 data on grizzly bear populations throughout the province, and an animated chart where users can explore data on how parks and protected areas have increased since 1911 and the associated levels of ecosystem protection in British Columbia.

The site provides scientific data and information in a more timely and accessible way as part of B.C.'s Open Data Policy and commitment to open government. Researching and finding environmental information is also now easier because the site acts as a centralized location for learning about B.C.'s environment. All the data is available for download by British Columbians.

Environmental Reporting BC represents the movement from paper-based state of environment reporting to the digital age. It provides information in a more green and immediate manner, while reducing the costs associated with printing the old reports. The website features dynamic new content that will be updated and added to as new data becomes available.

Environmental Reporting BC is the new brand for the Ministry of Environment's corporate environmental reporting function and, in addition to the website, will have a social media presence on Twitter (@EnvReportBC). The website and Twitter channel follow government's open data policy by increasing engagement around environmental data and making the information more open and accessible.

Quotes:

Terry Lake, Minister of Environment -

"Environmental Reporting BC is a shining example of our commitment to open government and how we are making our data more accessible, up-to-date, and engaging. Our innovative approach to communicating B.C.'s environmental information will lead to a more informed and engaged public while increasing our own reporting efficiencies."

Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations -

"Accurate reporting of environmental data is a critical step in making informed public policy decisions on land-use decisions. The launch of Environmental Reporting BC provides an important window into land-use decisions that will benefit both the government and the public alike."

Ben Stewart, Minister of Citizens' Services and Open Government -

"Making data like this available is invaluable to researchers, businesses and individuals who will now be able to use it in many different productive, creative and surprising ways. We plan on continuing to expand this kind of access to government data whenever possible."

Dr. Karl Larsen, professor, Wildlife Ecology & Management, Thompson Rivers University -

"I am very happy to see a centralized website for environmental data that can be easily accessed by everyone all the time, from biologists and scientists to the general public. This will also be a great resource for students, and I really like the idea that the Ministry of Environment has created a user friendly, transparent source that can be used to monitor environmental trends, now and in the future."

Learn More:

BC Newsroom - Ministry of Environment:
http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/ministries/environment-1

Check out a wide range of government data at: www.data.gov.bc.ca.

Contact:

Ministry of Environment
Communications
250 387-9630

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