WeObserve is an H2020 coordination and support action (2017-2020) delivering the first European-wide knowledge platform of Citizen Observatories (COs) to share best practices and to identify and address challenges to inform practitioners, policy makers and funders of (future) COs. The project is guided by the vision that COs and community-based environmental initiatives are an integral component of managing environmental challenges and empowering communities in the EU towards environmental stewardship.
WeObserve has identified three key challenges to be systematically addressed to mainstream COs. The three challenges are:
• Improving awareness of COs and citizen science activities: Citizens are often unaware of opportunities to address and help monitor environmental issues. Likewise, public authorities, SMEs and NGOs are unaware of the potential of COs to support decision making and create business opportunities.
• Increasing quality and acceptability and showcasing the added value: COs and citizen science are often thought to lack the required quality standards to generate insights for decision making and environmental governance. Public authorities are hesitant to accept data from citizen science efforts to complement authoritative data.
• Creating longer-term systems and transition processes that can sustain and scale up CO activities: Although local and continent-wide projects have shown great promise, the existing processes, infrastructures, measures, and legislation are currently insufficient to sustain or scale up citizen science projects across various sectors, including the private sector. Deficiencies in transition governance, funding systems and standards of data preservation and data interoperability are limiting the long-term potential of citizen science and COs.
To address these challenges, WeObserve
- Develops communities of practice around key topics to assess the current CO knowledge base and strengthens it to tackle future environmental challenges using CO-driven science.
- Extends the geographical coverage of the CO knowledge base to new communities and supports the implementation of best practices and standards across multiple sectors, including policy and business.
- Demonstrates the added value of COs in environmental monitoring mechanisms within regional and global initiatives such as GEOSS, Copernicus and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- Promotes the uptake of information from CO-powered activities and fosters new opportunities and innovation in the business of in-situ earth observation.
WeObserve – An Ecosystem of Citizen Observatories for Environmental Monitoring –improves the coordination between Citizen Observatories and regional, European and international activities to tackle and research three key challenges that Citizen Observatories face: awareness, acceptability and sustainability. The project brings together knowledge across many Citizens Observatories to address the challenges and help to move citizen science into the mainstream. WeObserve is an H2020 Coordination and Support Action (CSA).
How to participate
JOIN the WeObserve online course "Citizen Science Projects: How to Make a Difference"
JOIN the WeObserve Communities of Practice (CoPs), where we are consolidating practice-based knowledge of Citizen Observatories (COs), sharing information and resources, and working to further develop best practice guidelines and toolkits for COs: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/14P-5lGQntByffa8Wd4qbL_FjKILOFCvw8Qy-KRTOdBw/viewform?edit_requested=true
JOIN a WeObserve event or activity: https://www.weobserve.eu/events/
Funding bodies: European Commission
Other Organisations involved