Citizen Science is taking a leap towards changing conservation efforts across the world. Growing rapidly as a new concept that has set to revolutionalize how environmental data is gathered and shared, citizen science is currently taking up its space in normalizing the engagement of citizens in contributing to science. Africa’s potential towards utilizing citizen science as a tool for protecting and managing its biodiversity is huge, however, it’s hampered by lack of capacity. Citizen scientists in Africa often lack skills needed to effectively use, analyze, interpret and manage citizen science data and allow them to inform conservation policy.
With funding from Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI) and in collaboration with University of Cambridge, the British Trust for Ornithology, the National Museums of Kenya, and the Kenya Bird Map Committee, the Tropical Biology Association has set out to implement a three year project to respond to this capacity gap. The project, ’Citizen Science in Africa- making it work for conservation’, aims to translate citizen science biodiversity monitoring into more effective decision making for conservation. This entails building the capacity of African conservation scientists to analyze and communicate data collected through citizen science projects, and to create new atlases for under-represented species.
The program will integrate two workshops which will cover capacity building themes including
Follow-up support will be provided to participants who will already have set up action plans for how they will put their learning into practice after the workshops while also providing them with a network for sharing ideas and successes. A final seminar will be held at the close of the project providing a forum for all participants and CCI partners to share their results and discuss further potential for harnessing citizen science for conservation.
See further details on the two workshops that were held in Kenya in April and October 2019 training a total of 26 African scientists from 9 African countries:
-Workshop 1: Analyzing and interpreting citizen science data
-Workshop 2: Managing citizen science projects