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D2.1 EU Citizen Observatories Landscape Report - Frameworks for mapping existing CO initiatives and their relevant communities and interactions

Gold, Margaret

Citizen Observatories, which invite the public to contribute observations, data and information to community-based environmental monitoring programmes, can play an important role in crucial areas such as climate change, sustainable development, air monitoring, flood and drought monitoring, land cover or land-use change.

Amongst the benefits of Citizen Observatories are that these contributions can be used to complement authoritative, traditional in-situ and r30/07/2018emote sensing Earth Observation data. Citizen Observatories can also provide new data sources for policy-making, and they can result in increased citizen participation in environmental management and governance at a large scale.

With the increasing prevalence of Citizen Observatories globally, there have been calls for a more integrated approach to handling their complexities, and to sharing crucial knowledge for the design and management of stable, reliable and scalable Citizens’ Observatory programmes. Answering this challenge in the European context, the Horizon 2020-funded project WeObserve aims to improve coordination between existing Citizen Observatories and related European activities, while tackling three key challenges that inhibit the mainstreaming of citizen science: Awareness, Acceptability, and Sustainability.

Systematically tackling these challenges first requires the aggregating, building and strengthening of the Citizen Observatory knowledge base. The first step in doing so is to map the EU landscape to identify the existing Citizen Observatory networks and their associated ecosystems and stakeholders, in order to gain insights into the development, operation and challenges facing Citizen Observatories in Europe.

This Landscape Report forms the first part of this dynamic exercise to establish the frameworks for describing and comparing Citizen Observatories in Europe (Deliverable 2.1 - Frameworks), a follow-up Landscape Report that Maps the Citizen Observatories in Europe (Deliverable 2.1 - An Overview of COs in Europe), and the final Landscape Report in Month 24 of the project (Deliverable 2.4 - The Landscape of COs in Europe).

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