Citizen Science and Open Data: a model for Invasive Alien Species in Europe
lterrat's bookmarks 2017-07-05
"Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are a growing threat to Europe's biodiversity. The implementation of European Union Regulation on IAS can benefit from the involvement of the public in IAS recording and management through Citizen Science (CS) initiatives. Aiming to tackle issues related with the use of CS projects on IAS topics, a dedicated workshop titled “Citizen Science and Open Data: a model for Invasive Alien Species in Europe” was organized by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST Association). Fifty key stakeholders from all Europe, including two Members of the European Parliament, attended the workshop. With a clear focus on IAS, the workshop aimed at addressing the following issues: a) CS and policy, b) citizen engagement, and c) CS data management. Nine short presentations provided input on CS and IAS issues. Participants discussed specific topics in several round tables (“world café” style) and reported back their conclusions to the audience and full assembly moderated discussions. Overall, the workshop enabled the sharing of ideas, approaches and best practices regarding CS and IAS. Specific opportunities and pitfalls of using CS data in the whole policy cycle for IAS were recognized. Concerning the implementation of the IAS Regulation, CS data could complement official surveillance systems, and contribute to the early warning of the IAS of Union concern after appropriate validation by the Member States’ competent authorities. CS projects can additionally increase awareness and empower citizens. Attendees pointed out the importance for further public engagement in CS projects on IAS that demonstrate specific initiatives and approaches and analyze lessons learned from past experiences. In addition, the workshop noted that the data gathered from different CS projects on IAS are fragmented. It highlighted the need for using an open and accessible platform to upload data originating from CS sources or to mirror validated data into a single, easy-to-use web service, in line with the EU Open Science Strategic Priority. The workshop provided ten key recommendations of best practices for CS projects on IAS, addressed to researchers, policy makers and implementing authorities, indicating future research and policy directions and opportunities."