Special Issue "Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Education and Approaches".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Florian Heigl
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Zoology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Gregor Mendel Straße 33, Vienna 1180, Austria
Interests: citizen science; ecology; road ecology; crowdsourcing; biodiversity research; agroecology
Dr. Steffen Fritz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Interests: remote sensing, cropland, crowdsourcing, mapping uncertainty, climate change, agricultural monitoring
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Daniel Dörler
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Interests: citizen science; ecology; invasion biology; zoology; biodiversity; crowdsourcing
Dr. Silke L. Voigt-Heucke
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Head of the School of Citizen Science, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Interests: Citizen Science; Biodiversity Monitoring; Bioacoustics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to discuss the role citizen science (CS) can play in monitoring and implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/). As an example, the Stockholm Environment Institute has stated in its discussion brief (https://mediamanager.sei.org/documents/Publications/SEI-2017-PB-citizen-science-sdgs.pdf) that citizen science can contribute to defining targets and metrics on different levels, monitoring progress and implementing action. In particular, citizen science projects can play an important role in providing the data needed to monitor progress towards the SDGs. Moreover, citizen science can facilitate the implementation of the SDGs and become an integral part of social innovation, transformation, and behavioural change.

We envisage this Special Issue becoming a cornerstone of the scientific literature, which illustrates the potential of citizen science in the SDG process. We are interested in receiving papers from all disciplines which illustrate via case studies and existing projects how CS contributes to achieving the SDGs on a local, regional, and national level. We also welcome contributions which outline the future potential of CS and the role it can play in reaching the SDGs. We are furthermore interested in contributions which showcase the link of CS and the potential of integrating it with other traditional and non-traditional data sources such as earth observation and big data in general. 

We invite you to contribute to this issue by submitting research articles or comprehensive reviews in various fields. Papers selected for this Special Issue are subject to a rigorous peer-review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications.

Dr. Florian Heigl
Dr. Steffen Fritz
Dr. Daniel Dörler
Dr. Silke L. Voigt-Heucke
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • public participation in science
  • co-creation
  • co-design
  • citizen science
  • sustainable development goals
  • transdisciplinarity

Published Papers (18 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Editorial
Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5676; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105676 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 413
Abstract
Citizen science (cs) has manifold potential in generating new knowledge, raising awareness and enabling learning, as numerous studies have shown in recent years [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Article
Coordinator Perceptions When Assessing the Impact of Citizen Science towards Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2377; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042377 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 774
Abstract
Tracking progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires high-quality, timely, and accessible data, often in areas where data are rarely available. Problems exist due to socioeconomic variations between countries and the qualitative nature of certain indicators in their definition. Citizen [...] Read more.
Tracking progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires high-quality, timely, and accessible data, often in areas where data are rarely available. Problems exist due to socioeconomic variations between countries and the qualitative nature of certain indicators in their definition. Citizen science has the potential to contribute to several SDGs. However, whilst citizen science’s potential to contribute towards SDGs is well documented, limitations exist when measuring the impact that citizen science has made toward SDG progress. To better understand the issues and prospective solutions surrounding impact assessment towards SDG progress, this work presents the outcomes of semi-structured interviews with citizen science project coordinators. They reveal the complex nature of impact assessment within a citizen science context. Coordinators demonstrate greater confidence when the project is easier to relate to the SDGs, and the project methodology can objectively measure indicators. Issues exist, however, when considering SDGs with a broader, global context, those more difficult to link to project goals and when the project’s impact on them happens at timescales beyond the funding period. If the full potential of citizen-science contributions to the SDGs is to be realised, approaches are needed to fully consider practitioners’ needs and motivations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Article
A Self-Assessment of European Citizen Science Projects on Their Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1774; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041774 - 07 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 662
Abstract
In theoretical frameworks, it is often assumed that citizen science projects contribute to the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) because of their participatory character and the potential for social transformation. To bring a practical perspective into the dialogue, we designed a survey to [...] Read more.
In theoretical frameworks, it is often assumed that citizen science projects contribute to the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) because of their participatory character and the potential for social transformation. To bring a practical perspective into the dialogue, we designed a survey to obtain direct assessments of the contribution of citizen science to the SDGs by European project participants. We launched the survey across European science networks in 2020 and evaluated 125 questionnaires. Participants reported contributing most to three of the SDGs: ‘Good health and well-being’, ‘Quality education’, and Life on Land’. Additionally, our results provide evidence that, with ongoing advocacy, citizen science projects in Europe could support all SDGs in the future. Seventy-two percent of participants indicated that their projects are involved in data acquisition and 30% stated to report data, but 19% do not pass on data at all. Our findings indicate further that European citizen science projects lack infrastructures and institutional support to facilitate data sharing. We recommend a focus on the promotion or creation of interfaces, for example, between projects and UN databases. Finally, we advise that citizen science projects, some of which operate with little funding, should not be overburdened with inflated expectations as a means of implementing the SDGs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Knowledge Translation and Its Interrelation with Usability and Accessibility. Biocultural Diversity Translated by Means of Technology and Language—The Case of Citizen Science Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010054 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 618
Abstract
Translation plays an important role in all areas of human activity. Despite its primary role of overcoming language barriers, it is used as an analogy for activities that require transfer, mediation, or negotiation of meaning. Knowledge translation is a concept that links knowledge [...] Read more.
Translation plays an important role in all areas of human activity. Despite its primary role of overcoming language barriers, it is used as an analogy for activities that require transfer, mediation, or negotiation of meaning. Knowledge translation is a concept that links knowledge to action, which is also at the heart of citizen science. Several studies have highlighted the ways in which citizen science can contribute to the definition, monitoring and implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Although these studies emphasized the importance of data contributions for SDG reporting and monitoring purposes, this paper applies the concept of knowledge translation to citizen science for achieving the SDGs based on the conceptual framework provided by translation studies. Knowledge translation, citizen science, and the SDGs have their focus on actions and negotiations in common. Citizen science can, thus, be regarded as a mediator between science and the SDGs or a mediator between the public and policymakers. Exemplified by biocultural diversity, this paper analyzes the application of knowledge translation to the SDGs in and through citizen science. Citizen science guided by the SDGs requires different forms of knowledge ((and) translation) that are usable, accessible, and meaningful. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Article
Local Action with Global Impact: The Case of the GROW Observatory and the Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10518; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410518 - 16 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1166
Abstract
This article reports on Citizen Observatories’ (COs) potential to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reflecting on the experience of the GROW Observatory (GROW). The research aims to take the first steps in closing the gap in the literature on COs’ potential [...] Read more.
This article reports on Citizen Observatories’ (COs) potential to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reflecting on the experience of the GROW Observatory (GROW). The research aims to take the first steps in closing the gap in the literature on COs’ potential contributions to the SDG framework, beyond quantitative data contributions for indicator monitoring. Following an analysis of project activities and outcomes mapped against the SDG framework, the findings reveal GROW’s potential contributions across two dimensions: (i) Actions to advance the implementation of goals and targets through awareness raising and training; participatory methods; multi-stakeholder connections; and supporting citizens to move from data to action and (ii) Data contributions to SDG indicator monitoring through citizen-generated datasets. While earlier research has focused mostly on the latter (dimension ii), CO activities can impact numerous goals and targets, highlighting their potential to relate global SDGs to local level action, and vice versa. These findings align with the growing literature on COs’ ability to bring together policy makers, scientists and citizens, and support changes to environmental policy and practice. Furthermore, this research suggests groundwork activities that address the goal and target level can also enhance sustained data collection to contribute to indicator level monitoring. We conclude with future trends and recommendations for COs wishing to contribute to the SDGs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Article
Citizen Science Monitoring for Sustainable Development Goal Indicator 6.3.2 in England and Zambia
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10271; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410271 - 09 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1138
Abstract
Citizen science has the potential to support the delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its integration into national monitoring schemes. In this study, we explored the opportunities and biases of citizen science (CS) data when used either as a [...] Read more.
Citizen science has the potential to support the delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its integration into national monitoring schemes. In this study, we explored the opportunities and biases of citizen science (CS) data when used either as a primary or secondary source for SDG 6.3.2 reporting. We used data from waterbodies with both CS and regulatory monitoring in England and Zambia to explore their biases and complementarity. A comparative analysis of regulatory and CS data provided key information on appropriate sampling frequency, site selection, and measurement parameters necessary for robust SDG reporting. The results showed elevated agreement for pass/fail ratios and indicator scores for English waterbodies (80%) and demonstrated that CS data improved for granularity and spatial coverage for SDG indicator scoring, even when extensive statutory monitoring programs were present. In Zambia, management authorities are actively using citizen science projects to increase spatial and temporal coverage for SDG reporting. Our results indicate that design considerations for SDG focused citizen science can address local needs and provide a more representative indicator of the state of a nation’s freshwater ecosystems for international reporting requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Citizen Science and Citizen Energy Communities: A Systematic Review and Potential Alliances for SDGs
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10096; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310096 - 03 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
Citizen science and citizen energy communities are pluralistic terms that refer to a constellation of methods, projects, and outreach activities; however, citizen science and citizen energy communities are rarely, if ever, explicitly aligned. Our searches for “citizen science” and “energy” produced limited results [...] Read more.
Citizen science and citizen energy communities are pluralistic terms that refer to a constellation of methods, projects, and outreach activities; however, citizen science and citizen energy communities are rarely, if ever, explicitly aligned. Our searches for “citizen science” and “energy” produced limited results and “citizen science” and “energy communities” produced zero. Therefore, to outline a future direction of citizen science, its potential alliances with energy communities, and their collaborative contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals, we performed a systematic literature review and analysis of “public participation” and “energy communities” using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRIMSA) guidelines. The results show four pathways through which current public participation in energy communities might be more explicitly aligned with citizen science projects: benefits and values, energy practices, intermediaries, and energy citizenship. Each of these pathways could engage citizen scientists in qualitative and quantitative research and increase scientific literacy about energy systems. Our call for citizen science to supplement current forms of participation builds from the “ecologies of participation” framework, itself an extension of co-productionist theories of science and technology studies. We conclude with a discussion of affordances and barriers to the alliances between citizen science and energy communities and their potential contributions to SDGs 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, 13: Climate Action, and 17: Partnerships for the Goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Application of Modern Web Technologies to the Citizen Science Project BAYSICS on Climate Research and Science Communication
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7748; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187748 - 19 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 898
Abstract
Participatory sensing has become an important element in citizen science projects. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as web platforms and mobile phones can generate high-resolution data for science and progress assessment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (e.g., SDGs 11, 13, [...] Read more.
Participatory sensing has become an important element in citizen science projects. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as web platforms and mobile phones can generate high-resolution data for science and progress assessment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (e.g., SDGs 11, 13, and 15). This paper gives an overview of web technologies in citizen science and illustrates how these technologies were applied in the citizen science project BAYSICS (Bavarian Citizen Science Information Platform for Climate Research and Science Communication) in Bavaria, in the south-eastern part of Germany. For the project, three digital platforms were developed: a website, web portal, and mobile application, each of which fulfills different tasks based on the project’s needs. The website informs visitors about the project structure, makes the project known to the community, and advertises the latest activities. The web portal is the main interface for citizens who want to join and actively participate in the project. The mobile application of the web portal was realized in the form of a progressive web application, which allows installation on a mobile phone and is connected with offline access to the content. The provision of an IT service for participatory sensing-based research which covers a development package, including a database, website/web application, and smartphone application, is further discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Citizen Science in the Field: Co-experimentation at Pilot Scale for Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7700; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187700 - 17 Sep 2020
Viewed by 844
Abstract
Natural resource management is a cross-sectoral topic, as reflected by its inclusion in several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (e.g., SDGs 2, 6, 12, 15). In the study area on Bangka Island, Indonesia, agriculture is a pillar of local food security [...] Read more.
Natural resource management is a cross-sectoral topic, as reflected by its inclusion in several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (e.g., SDGs 2, 6, 12, 15). In the study area on Bangka Island, Indonesia, agriculture is a pillar of local food security and livelihoods, making restoration of degraded lands also a local issue. The present study aims at restoring degraded land after tin mining and at restoring the natural soil base rendering it more suitable for agriculture. We use co-experimentation with citizens as a tool to develop options for re-habilitation at a pilot scale. The recruitment process in this study was reversed insofar as local citizens were at the origin of the project idea. Consequently, buy-in was high among local stakeholders. This set to increase the probability of successfully scaling up effective and actionable practices that were developed during co-experimentation at both local and regional levels. Co-experimentation provided a platform for exchange between local citizens and scientists. Citizens did not need to learn new skills to be able to participate in the scientific process and could autonomously evaluate results. We see involvement of citizens in this type of scientific projects not only as feasible, but as rewarding for all involved partners and as beneficial for the project outcomes. In light of the call for partnerships to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we can only recommend investing in communication and relationship building to work together on better solutions to the challenges we face. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Tea Bag Index—UK: Using Citizen/Community Science to Investigate Organic Matter Decomposition Rates in Domestic Gardens
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6895; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176895 - 25 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1304
Abstract
Gardening has the potential to influence several ecosystem services, including soil carbon dynamics, and shape progression towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, (e.g., SDG 13). There are very few citizen/community science projects that have been set up to test an explicit hypothesis. However, [...] Read more.
Gardening has the potential to influence several ecosystem services, including soil carbon dynamics, and shape progression towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, (e.g., SDG 13). There are very few citizen/community science projects that have been set up to test an explicit hypothesis. However, citizen/community science allows collection of countrywide observations on ecosystem services in domestic gardens to inform us on the effects of gardening on SDGs. The geographical spread of samples that can be collected by citizen/community science would not be possible with a team of professional science researchers alone. Members of the general public across the UK submitted soil samples and buried standardised litter bags (tea bags) as part of the Tea Bag Index—UK citizen/community science project. Participants returned 511 samples from across the UK from areas in their garden where soil organic amendments were and were not applied. The project examined the effects of application of soil amendments on decomposition rates and stabilisation of litter, and in turn, effects on soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations. This was in response to a call for contributions to a global map of decomposition in the Teatime4Science campaign. Results suggested that application of amendments significantly increased decomposition rate and soil carbon, nitrogen, and carbon: nitrogen ratios within each garden. So much so that amendment application had more influence than geographic location. Furthermore, there were no significant interactions between location and amendment application. We therefore conclude that management in gardens has similar effects on soil carbon and decomposition, regardless of the location of the garden in question. Stabilisation factor was influenced more prominently by location than amendment application. Gardening management decisions can influence a number of SDGs and a citizen/community science project can aid in both the monitoring of SDGs, and involvement of the public in delivery of SDGs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Citizen Science in Germany as Research and Sustainability Education: Analysis of the Main Forms and Foci and Its Relation to the Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6044; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156044 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1370
Abstract
Many citizen science projects are in the thematic area of species observation and natural environment monitoring but, in recent years, projects in other areas and disciplines have increasingly been using citizen science approaches. It is assumed that citizen science could potentially contribute to [...] Read more.
Many citizen science projects are in the thematic area of species observation and natural environment monitoring but, in recent years, projects in other areas and disciplines have increasingly been using citizen science approaches. It is assumed that citizen science could potentially contribute to an increase in environmental awareness and to advancing knowledge about environmental change and sustainability issues. In this article, we present a review of 127 citizen science projects listed on the German platform, “Bürger schaffen Wissen”, with the aim of analysing whether the main focus of most projects is on the scientific results or on educational aspects and how citizen science projects are connected to the SDGs. The results show that many citizen science projects overlap with SDG 4 Quality Education. Of these projects, a larger proportion entail higher levels of involvement than those projects with a stronger focus on the scientific results, in which the participation of the citizen scientists is mainly standardised and at low levels. An even greater number of projects in the sample are linked to SDG 15 Life on Land and, thereby, are in line with the traditional focus of citizen science. Additionally, the analysis reveals that forms of education used in citizen science projects are much more diverse than those included in SDG 4. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Article
Scientometric Analysis of Research in Energy Efficiency and Citizen Science through Projects and Publications
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5175; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125175 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1076
Abstract
Energy efficiency is part of the commitment to environmental sustainability made by the organizations that promote and finance research and by the researchers that make this field their subject of study. Although there is growing interest in the subject, it is worth asking [...] Read more.
Energy efficiency is part of the commitment to environmental sustainability made by the organizations that promote and finance research and by the researchers that make this field their subject of study. Although there is growing interest in the subject, it is worth asking whether the research has been approached considering citizens’ needs or citizens’ participation. The main objective of this study is to analyse whether energy efficiency research has adopted a citizen science perspective. Using scientometric methods, the SCOPUS and CORDIS databases were consulted and a document search strategy was developed to gather information on publications and projects. The analysis revealed that, out of 265 projects under the Seventh Framework Programme on Energy Efficiency, only seven (3%) were related to citizen science. Although there is a large volume of publications on energy efficiency (over 200,000) and a considerable number of publications on citizen science (>30,000 articles), only 336 documents were identified that deal with both topics. The number of projects and publications on these topics has increased in recent years, with universities being the institutions that have published the most. Content analysis found that the most frequent topics are public perception of the use of renewable energies; citizen participation in measures to address climate change and global warming; and the involvement of different stakeholders in the use and responsible consumption of energy. Finally, information was collected on the impact of these publications on social media and altmetric tools. It was revealed that 33% of the 336 papers have had a presence in different sources, especially Twitter. This is a high figure compared with the dissemination achieved by papers from other disciplines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Citizen Science for Scientific Literacy and the Attainment of Sustainable Development Goals in Formal Education
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4283; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104283 - 23 May 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2971
Abstract
Curricular integration in formal teaching of citizen science can bring to the classroom aspects of scientific literacy that encourage the involvement of citizens. In particular, these include non-epistemic aspects related to the sociology of science (which are often not transferred to the classroom). [...] Read more.
Curricular integration in formal teaching of citizen science can bring to the classroom aspects of scientific literacy that encourage the involvement of citizens. In particular, these include non-epistemic aspects related to the sociology of science (which are often not transferred to the classroom). Furthermore, this practice raises awareness among students, and encourages them to become participants in the attainment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This article describes a proposal for the integration of a citizen science project into the secondary education curriculum that can be reproduced in any educational center. Eighty-three secondary school pupils (14–15 years old) took part in this research at a city-center school in Northern Spain. A questionnaire based on validated studies was created and used to analyze the changes in attitudes of pupils towards science and technology and their improvement in scientific literacy in terms of scientific processes and scientific situations. The results indicate a significant improvement in the attitudes towards science and technology among the participating learners, as well as a better understanding of scientific processes and situations. Likewise, the results reflect how the implementation of the citizen science project contributes to the SDGs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Co-Designing a Citizen Science Program for Malaria Control in Rwanda
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7012; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247012 - 09 Dec 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1625
Abstract
Good health and human wellbeing is one of the sustainable development goals. To achieve this goal, many efforts are required to control infectious diseases including malaria which remains a major public health concern in Rwanda. Surveillance of mosquitoes is critical to control the [...] Read more.
Good health and human wellbeing is one of the sustainable development goals. To achieve this goal, many efforts are required to control infectious diseases including malaria which remains a major public health concern in Rwanda. Surveillance of mosquitoes is critical to control the disease, but surveillance rarely includes the participation of citizens. A citizen science approach (CSA) has been applied for mosquito surveillance in developed countries, but it is unknown whether it is feasible in rural African contexts. In this paper, the technical and social components of such a program are described. Participatory design workshops were conducted in Ruhuha, Rwanda. Community members can decide on the technical tools for collecting and reporting mosquito species, mosquito nuisance, and confirmed malaria cases. Community members set up a social structure to gather observations by nominating representatives to collect the reports and send them to the researchers. These results demonstrate that co-designing a citizen science program (CSP) with citizens allows for decision on what to use in reporting observations. The decisions that the citizens took demonstrated that they have context-specific knowledge and skills, and showed that implementing a CSP in a rural area is feasible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research, Other

Review
A Buzz for Sustainability and Conservation: The Growing Potential of Citizen Science Studies on Bees
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020959 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1446
Abstract
Expanding involvement of the public in citizen science projects can benefit both volunteers and professional scientists alike. Recently, citizen science has come into focus as an important data source for reporting and monitoring United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since bees play an [...] Read more.
Expanding involvement of the public in citizen science projects can benefit both volunteers and professional scientists alike. Recently, citizen science has come into focus as an important data source for reporting and monitoring United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since bees play an essential role in the pollination ecosystem service, citizen science projects involving them have a high potential for attaining SDGs. By performing a systematic review of citizen science studies on bees, we assessed how these studies could contribute towards SDG reporting and monitoring, and also verified compliance with citizen science principles. Eighty eight studies published from 1992 to 2020 were collected. SDG 15 (Life on Land) and SDG 17 (Partnerships) were the most outstanding, potentially contributing to targets related to biodiversity protection, restoration and sustainable use, capacity building and establishing multi stakeholder partnerships. SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 4 (Quality Education), and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) were also addressed. Studies were found to produce new knowledge, apply methods to improve data quality, and invest in open access publishing. Notably, volunteer participation was mainly restricted to data collection. Further challenges include extending these initiatives to developing countries, where only a few citizen science projects are underway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
The Role of Citizen Science in Meeting SDG Targets around Soil Health
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10254; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410254 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1149
Abstract
Healthy soils are vital for sustainable development, yet consistent soil monitoring is scarce, and soils are poorly represented in United Nations Sustainable Development Goals targets and indicators. There is a clear need for specific ambitions on soil health, accompanying metrics, and cost-effective monitoring [...] Read more.
Healthy soils are vital for sustainable development, yet consistent soil monitoring is scarce, and soils are poorly represented in United Nations Sustainable Development Goals targets and indicators. There is a clear need for specific ambitions on soil health, accompanying metrics, and cost-effective monitoring methodologies. In this paper, we review citizen science methods and platforms which could compliment structured soil monitoring programmes and contribute to filling this knowledge gap. We focussed on soil structure, organic carbon, biodiversity, nutrients, and vegetation cover. Each method was classified as red, amber, or green (RAG) in terms of time requirements, cost, and data reliability. Toolkits were assessed in terms of cost and requirement for specialist kit. We found 32 methods across the five indicators. Three soil monitoring methods scored green on all criteria, and 20 (63%) scored green on two criteria. We found 13 toolkits appropriate for citizen science monitoring of soil health. Three of them are free, easy to use, and do not require specialist equipment. Our review revealed multiple citizen science methods and toolkits for each of the five soil health indicators. This should pave the way towards a cost-effective, joined-up approach on soil health, informing national and international policy and supporting the move towards farmer-led, data-driven decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Commentary
Citizen Science as Democratic Innovation That Renews Environmental Monitoring and Assessment for the Sustainable Development Goals in Rural Areas
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2762; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052762 - 04 Mar 2021
Viewed by 941
Abstract
This commentary focuses on analyzing the potential of citizen science to address legitimacy issues in the knowledge base used to guide transformative governance in the context of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (henceforth SDGs). The commentary develops two interrelated arguments for better [...] Read more.
This commentary focuses on analyzing the potential of citizen science to address legitimacy issues in the knowledge base used to guide transformative governance in the context of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (henceforth SDGs). The commentary develops two interrelated arguments for better understanding the limits of what we term “traditional” Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (EMA) as well as the potential of citizen science (CS) for strengthening the legitimacy of EMA in the local implementation of SDGs. We start by arguing that there is an urgent need for a profound renewal of traditional EMA to better implement the SDGs. Then, we present CS as a democratic innovation that provides a path to EMA renewal that incorporates, develops, and extends the role of CS in data production and use by EMA. The commentary substantiates such arguments based on current approaches to CS and traditional EMA. From this starting point, we theorize the potential of CS as a democratic innovation that can repurpose EMA as a tool for the implementation of the SDGs. With a focus on the implementation of SDG15 (Life on Land) in local contexts, the commentary presents CS as a democratic innovation for legitimate transformative governance that can affect socio-ecological transitions. We see this approach as especially appropriate to analyze the implementation of SDGs in rural settings where a specific resource nexus can create conflict-laden contexts with much potential for a renewed EMA to support transformative governance towards Agenda 2030. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Commentary
Sustaining Citizen Science beyond an Emergency
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4522; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114522 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1341
Abstract
This commentary explores lessons learned about aspects of citizen science sustainability, such as open data reuse after a project ends or after the urgency of a disaster. It is framed to be consistent with emerging research about how the 2020 pandemic relates to [...] Read more.
This commentary explores lessons learned about aspects of citizen science sustainability, such as open data reuse after a project ends or after the urgency of a disaster. It is framed to be consistent with emerging research about how the 2020 pandemic relates to the sustainable development goals (SDGs). It argues for the importance of open data in citizen science, both in platform design and in citizen science outputs, to support sustainability beyond a funding cycle or emergency. This commentary discusses open datasets developed during the Ebola outbreak response in 2014 and the role of collaborative repositories in enabling uses beyond a single project. How citizen scientists can creatively contribute in ways aligned with humanitarian disaster response aims is explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Back to TopTop