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).