The potential policy impacts and feasibility of including Citizen Science as part of the scientific support to policy-making can be best investigated by concrete testing and demonstration. A collaboration between five European Commission (EC) services and the European Environmental Agency takes action to develop and deploy a Citizen Science demonstrator for environmental policy-making, and particularly addresses issues of environmental protection.
The activity will include the assessment of impacts of developing mobile apps on existing data management and policy processes. We will derive new knowledge and develop an in-depth understanding of the possible role of Citizen Science for EU-level policy making by illustrating the use of already available technology in real-world settings and reflecting on the concrete implications. These implications particularly address the changes of practice in organisational processes, inter-governmental relationships and legal frameworks that would be required in order to operationalize the approach under consideration – here, entering into a public dialogue about the protection of nature.
The particular mobile application will build upon the Natura2000 data set (provided by the EEA) using the methodology deployed by JRC to assess the uniqueness and irreplaceability of protected areas in the Digital Observatory of Protected Areas (DOPA). Specifically for Europe, we can augment these resources with the cloud-free mosaic of Europe at 2.5 meters resolution developed by JRC using Copernicus product Core003, complemented by additional information services of the JRC (such as forest fires and flood alerts), ancillary socio-economic and environmental data sets provided by ESTAT, and additional data from the DG RTD funded Citizens’ Observatory projects (e.g. COBWEB).