Open Reporting on Protected Lands and Waters in B.C.

Posted by Jesikah Post, DataBC on behalf of Andy Teucher, Ministry of Environment

What is this?

Environmental Reporting BC recently published a new environmental indicator called “Protected Lands and Waters in B.C.“. The indicator shows how much land and water is protected in British Columbia, how it varies across the province, and changes over time.

A few highlights from the indicator analysis:

  • Protected lands and waters cover 15.4% of B.C.’s land and 3.2% of B.C.’s marine areas.
  • The amount of protected land and water is variable across the province’s Ecoregions and Biogeoclimatic Zones.
  • The amount of protected land in B.C. has more than doubled since the early 1990’s.


Percentage of Protected Land and Water in BC`s Ecoregions

Marine and Terrestrial Biome Protection Map












Open Data, Open Code

As we have blogged about here before, Environmental Reporting BC is committed to open and transparent environmental reporting. Accordingly, the data resulting from the analysis for this indicator have been made available under the Open Government License – British Columbia in the BC Data Catalogue. There you will find various data summaries of protected lands and waters, broken down by type of designation, ecoregions, and biogeoclimatic zones. There are also links to the source datasets used in the analysis—many of which are also available in the BC Data Catalogue.

In addition to open data, Environmental Reporting BC also released the code we wrote to perform the analysis in the Provinces’ code-sharing GitHub space. The analysis code—written in the R programming language—is available under an Open Source license, and allows anyone to see the steps we took to perform the analysis, repeat them if they desire, or copy and modify it to suit their needs.

Environmental Reporting BC shares data & analysis code so others can replicate and evaluate our work, to foster collaboration, and to support other similar initiatives, programs, and partners.

If you have any questions about the data or analysis, or find a use for it for your own needs, we would love to hear from you. Please email me at, connect with us on twitter, or leave a comment below.



2 responses to “Open Reporting on Protected Lands and Waters in B.C.

  1. Rob

    I like how this has been laid out and the ability to report on developments over time is particularly interesting. I will definitely be connecting to learn more about how this is structured as I would like see a similar product for land use planning. Quick aside. Neither Bowie Seamount or Endeavour Hydrothermal Vents have anything to do with BC – both are at the outer edge of the Canadian EEZ and far beyond any plausible connection to BC. Great to see them on the map as part of the BC/ Canada MPA network but I sincerely hope that they aren’t being included in any math that reflects conservation/protection within BC.

    1. Post,

      posted by Jesikah Post, DataBC on behalf of Andy Teucher, Ministry of Environment.

      Thanks very much for the comment Rob. Bowie Seamount and Endeavour Hydrothermal vents are included in the marine totals because they are within two of the marine ecoregions ( defined for British Columbia (Sub-Arctic Pacific and Transitional Pacific, respectively). In the ‘Details of Protected Land & Water Designations in B.C.’ section of the page, they are included in the National Protected Areas marine total. If you’d like to discuss in more detail, please contact me at


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