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The WeObserve project hosted a special event, “Observing the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities in Citizen Science”,held on 9 Oct 2019 in Brussels in cooperation with the European Commission. It brought together four sister projects on Citizen Observatories (COs) for Environmental Monitoringfunded by H2020 and launched in 2016, and commission representatives working closely with citizen science initiatives.

The participating CO projects (LandSenseGROW ObservatoryScent, and Ground Truth 2.0), which have either concluded their activities or are in their final year, showcased their achievements and shared best practices. The focus of the event was an exploration of the challenges facing COs to generate forward-looking solutions and recommendations that can help improve sustainability and increase impact for ongoing and future COs.

The WeObserve project has identified three key challenges for mainstreaming COs that framed the event discussions:
1. AWARENESS – Improving awareness of COs and citizen science activities;
2. ACCEPTABILITY – Increasing quality and acceptability and showcasing the added value of COs;
3. SUSTAINABILITY – Creating longer-term systems and transition processes that can sustain and scale up CO activities.

Within the three key challenges, and based on their experiences in running COs, the attending project representatives presented obstacles facing COs. Following the presentations, in-depth discussion sessions further explored select obstacles and sought to formulate forward looking recommendations and solutions for the benefit of ongoing and future CO projects. A designated breakout group tackled each of the three challenges: Awareness, Acceptability, and Sustainability. Event participants were able to consecutively join two of the three topical discussion groups.

To find out more about the event, as well as the presentations and aavailable material, please visit here.