About RISC

Introduction

The Resources Information Standards Committee (RISC) is responsible for establishing standards for natural and cultural resources inventories, including collection, storage, analysis, interpretation and reporting of inventory data. A number of Government initiatives, including Forest Investment Account and Forest Practices Code, require participants in those initiatives to adhere to RISC standards. These initiatives have come to expect RISC to be the approving body for a range of standards beyond the initial focus of RISC.

Focus to date has been dominantly in the area of standards for field inventory. The range of standards required to deliver an inventory program goes beyond just field inventory and includes discipline standards, field inventory standards, digital data standards, use or interpretation standards, product standards and change management standards. Also important are a group of common standards to be used across all inventory programs to ensure that data can be described, accessed, shared and integrated.

Overview

The Resources Information Standards Committee was established in 1991 as the Resources Inventory Committee, initiated in response to the Forest Resources Commission recommendation "that the Government of British Columbia undertake a commitment to complete inventories for all renewable forest resource values using standardized compatible systems".

The multi-agency Committee and its Task Forces addressed the issues of standards and coordination by first dealing with two critical issues:

  • What information is vital for effective land management, at what levels of detail and for what purposes?
  • How can this information most efficiently be acquired in a manner that minimizes duplication, promotes cooperative data collection, and encourages broad application and long-term relevance?

The activities of the Committee initially included the following points:

  • Determine who has been collecting what resource inventory information, to what standards, and using what procedures.
  • Identify the information products that will be needed most by resource managers and the associated inventory needs.
  • Develop, where appropriate, common standards and procedures in both the government and private data collection programs.
  • Develop appropriate inventory-related training and extension programs and delivery mechanisms.

The Committee's activities were initially funded through the federal-provincial Partnership Agreement on Forest Resource Development (FRDA II) and subsequently through the Corporate Resources Inventory Initiative and Forest Renewal BC.

At the time of this update, April 2004, some 214 documents have been produced comprising the range of inventory standards and procedures, field guides, field forms and background documents. For a complete listing of standards visit RISC: Standards

The Resources Information Standards Committee has moved from development of standards and procedures to the management of change. The change management window for most standards is October to February of each year in preparation for the field season.