Site Productivity


The site productivity project characterizes the timber-growing potential of forested sites across British Columbia. Inventory staff works with clients, ecologists and site-productivity researchers to plan and execute this program. The site productivity project has been funded under the Land Based Investment Strategy (LBIS) funds and therefore the purpose, goals and scope of this project closely follow those of LBIS. In the sections below more information is provided on the:

  • LBIS
  • Scope of site productivity related work
  • Provincial site productivity layer, updated to version 7.0 for 2019


The purpose of the LBIS is to guide ongoing resource investments and short-term targeted investments in British Columbia’s natural resources to realize environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. 

LBIS goals and guidance for planning land-based investments are developed by the ministry’s Corporate Initiatives Division in collaboration with the Resource Practices Branch.

The goals of the LBIS are to:

  • Actively manage a portfolio of natural resources to uphold and enhance their value.
  • Mitigate impacts due to catastrophic environmental disturbance or human action
  • Act on immediate needs/emerging priorities to enable the use of B.C.’s natural resources and contribute to the achievement of economic, social and environmental benefits.


Eligible investment categories and priorities will be determined annually using the strategic direction from the following sources:

  • The Ministry’s service plan goals and objectives.
  • Annual regional and provincial work plans that identify key priorities and projects.
  • Other government commitments as described in the Throne Speech, Canada Starts Here: the BC Jobs Plan, specific initiatives, Minister’s priorities, etc.

As well, some of the existing LBIS activities and projects may have long-term strategies that identify priority work to be completed over a number of years.  Further detailed information regarding LBIS can be accessed by following the link immediately below.

Site productivity projects include SIBEC (site index by ecosystem), PEM (predictive ecosystem mapping), TEM (terrestrial ecosystem mapping), and SIA (site index adjustment). Many projects were considered for the multi-year site productivity project.  The projects that were selected are those that best satisfy the criteria outlined below, in addition to meeting published data standards and procedures.  The principal selection criterion was that the projects are consistent with, and make a significant contribution to, the objectives and priorities of LBIS as described in the 2015/16 to 2017/18 Land Based Investment Strategy

  Additional considerations that guided project selection included the following provisions

  1. Improve data availability
  2. Timely delivery
  3. New before improve
  4. Complete projects
  5. Mapping (Provision of Spatial Information is Preferred)
  6. Multiple benefits across a number of business areas (e.g. timber supply review, silviculture, habitat modelling)

The focus of the site productivity work for 2019-2020 is on continuous improvement of SIBEC and PEM data. We recognize there are alternative approaches to estimating site productivity, but have determined that SIBEC-PEM provides the most efficient long term investment. In contrast to other approaches such as SIA that have limited application, SIBEC can be used across multiple administration units and data can be used for multiple purposes.

Some planned activities have been linked to commitments to complete BEC revisions in coordination with other site productivity work. A stable BEC classification is a fundamental precursor to efficient investments in PEM, TEM, and SIBEC. Updates to BEC are required prior to subsequent site productivity actions in many of the priority and non-priority units.  Further information may be found through the links to the associated documents immediately below.

Associated Documents


For further information on the provincial site productivity layer please contact:

For further information on PEM/TEM/SIBEC please contact: