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Citizen Science Initiative – Institute for Environmental Conservation and Research

Citizen Science Initiative

Description:

Changes in the environment are increasingly being felt all over the globe. These changes can be due to natural and anthropogenic causes but most of the time it can be attributed to the latter. Human activities, directly and indirectly, contribute to these changes. Ironically, humans are also the ones that greatly suffer from the impacts.

The Philippines is an island ecosystem where the majority of its population are living below the poverty line. The said group is also the one who is most affected in times of disaster and other calamities brought about by the changes in the environment. The said situation makes the cycle of poverty to continue and even worse.

As an island ecosystem, the Philippines also serves home to rich fauna and flora which are also affected by the environmental changes. However, baseline data of the species in the area are still insufficient as compared to its number, making it hard to know its benefits on humans, monitor its population, and evaluate its losses. Thus, conservation programs are also difficult to develop given the absence of the necessary data.

As a response, there is a need to seek the participation of ordinary citizens who do not necessarily have a science background but geographically located and with rich understanding of their local environment. Through online and offline collaboration between volunteers and researchers, ordinary citizens can meaningfully participate by reinforcing and validating the investigations being conducted by the limited number of researchers and in the long run become part in generating new knowledge on the environment.