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Open AccessArticle

Citizen Science for Transformative Air Quality Policy in Germany and Niger

1
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ, Department of Environmental Politics, 0431 Leipzig, Germany
2
Laboratory of Mathematics and Applications, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Faculty of Sciences and Techniques, Abdou Moumouni University, 10662 Niamey, Niger
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Luigi Ceccaroni, Dilek Fraisl, Stephen MacFeely and Stephen Parkinson
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3973; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073973
Received: 26 January 2021 / Revised: 26 March 2021 / Accepted: 29 March 2021 / Published: 2 April 2021
How can citizen science projects advance the achievement of transformative air quality-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Germany and Niger? We investigate the promise of using citizen-generated data (CGD) as an input for official SDG monitoring and implementation in a multidisciplinary project, based on activities undertaken in Niger and Germany ranging from surveys, action research, policy and legislative analysis and environmental monitoring in Niamey and Leipzig, respectively. We critically describe and evaluate the great potential, but very limited actual use of CGD sources for these global goals in both contexts from technical and policy perspectives. Agenda 2030 provides an opportunity to tackle indoor and outdoor air quality in a more integrated and transformative perspective. However, we find this agenda to be remarkably absent in air quality policy and monitoring plans. Likewise, we find no meaningful links of existing citizen science initiatives to official air quality policy. We propose how SDGs-aligned citizen science initiatives could make major contributions to environmental and health monitoring and public debate, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This however requires researchers to more strategically link these initiatives to policymakers and policy frameworks, such as SDG indicators and the governance structures in which they are embedded. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizen science; urban air quality; Sustainable Development Goals; data crowdsourcing; low-cost sensors; air pollution; environmental policy analysis; SDG indicators; statistical analysis; sustainability transformations citizen science; urban air quality; Sustainable Development Goals; data crowdsourcing; low-cost sensors; air pollution; environmental policy analysis; SDG indicators; statistical analysis; sustainability transformations
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lepenies, R.; Zakari, I.S. Citizen Science for Transformative Air Quality Policy in Germany and Niger. Sustainability 2021, 13, 3973. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073973

AMA Style

Lepenies R, Zakari IS. Citizen Science for Transformative Air Quality Policy in Germany and Niger. Sustainability. 2021; 13(7):3973. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073973

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lepenies, Robert; Zakari, Ibrahim S. 2021. "Citizen Science for Transformative Air Quality Policy in Germany and Niger" Sustainability 13, no. 7: 3973. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073973

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