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The 9th EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) took place on 2 – 6 Septemeber 2020, in Trieste, Italy, bringing together thousands of leading thinkers, innovators, policy makers, journalists and educators from more than 90 countries, to discuss current and future breakthroughs in contemporary science. WeObserve organised a session in the context of ESOF (Septemeber 3), focusing on the contribution of citizen science to SDG monitoring and implementation as part of the activities of the WeObserve “Citizen Observatories and SDGs Community of Practice (SDGs CoP). 

Session details

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development intertwines social, economic and environmental targets to address the world’s most pressing challenges. To achieve these goals, good governance informed by accurate, accessible, timely and comprehensive data is needed, as well as a collective, inter-connected effort from all levels of society. Even though data availability and quality have improved over the years, there are still major gaps in the supply of more and reliable information that feed into policies with desirable outcomes for SDG achievement. For instance, 68% of the environmental SDG indicators lack sufficient data (UN Environment, 2019). Enabling an environment to facilitate the integration of traditional sources of data (e.g. administrative records, statistical surveys, etc.) and new data approaches such as citizen science, public participation in scientific research, is crucial to tackle this issue. Citizen science can complement traditional and new data sources (e.g. earth observations, etc.), enable active citizen involvement in the SDG processes and ensure government accountability.

This session outlined the ongoing efforts of the citizen science community on the contribution of citizen science to SDG monitoring and implementation such as the “Citizen Observatories and SDGs Community of Practice (SDGs CoP)” as part of the European Commission funded WeObserve project. The SDGs CoP brought together citizen science practitioners, researchers and representatives of UN custodian agencies, broader data communities and other key actors in the field to develop an understanding about how to demonstrate the value of citizen science for SDG achievement. The session also drew on examples of citizen science initiatives that are contributing or could contribute to the SDG progress and provided recommendations on collaborations between citizens, governments, private sectors and intergovernmental organizations for design and actions to achieve the SDGs

You can read and download the presentation here.