JRC-COST CSI Workshop on Citizen Science data on Invasive Alien Species

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Monday, 17 December 2018

Strengthening the link between IAS apps data and policy: Development of an appropriate governance framework - Preliminary results 

Smartphone applications are increasing in popularity for rapid response, risk mapping and raising awareness about invasive alien species (IAS).  Many of them are available within the Member States, although with differences among countries in variety, features and interoperability. The maintenance requires investment, time and human resources. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the most convenient apps according to the stakeholders and citizen scientists involved, and the target species beyond those more widely known.

The development of identification techniques such as artificial image recognition and reliable validation methods and are key improvements for ongoing projects. Moreover, data access and intended use are essential to clarify the level of integration of the citizen science contributions into policy-making and national surveillance systems.

A better understanding of people motivations to engage in citizen science initiatives is also crucial to keep these projects in the long term. Public engagement in all stages of the citizen science production and not only in data gathering (eg.- training, validation by volunteer students, feedback with the app users, ownership of the data, etc.), can drive the intended change of attitudes and perceptions towards IAS.

Image: Dr. Liam Lysaght. National Biodiversity Data Center (Ireland).

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