In 2016 the Institute for Environmental Solutions (IES) has started to explore the potential of Citizen Science development in Latvia. Considering that Europe holds the community of Citizen Science experts IES’s team has visited several professional events aiming to bring the international knowledge of Citizen Science to Latvia.
IES’s team visited the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) – First International Conference which was held in Berlin on the 19 – 21 of May. The aim of the conference was to discuss the innovative potential of citizen science for open science, society and policy. It gathered together more than 320 participants from 29 countries from all over the world. IES was the only representative from Latvia. The conference offered more than 100 talks including an interactive Marketplace and Think Camp.
ECSA conference proved that Citizen Science community is a fast growing organism with many opportunities for innovation. IES’s team was not just a listener of talks, but also participant of the Marketplace in which IES presented research activities that has been carried out in Latvia.
On the 27 – 28 of June IES participated the Citizen Science Workshop in Tartu “Biodiversity research for and by citizens in Eastern Europe: tools, information services and public engagement”. The workshop was organised by representatives of the international project EU BON that is dedicated to the biodiversity research using citizen science methods. It provided the insight into the Citizen Science activities in Estonia, as well as hands-on exercises for planning of Citizen Science activities.
To see the Citizen Science activities in action on the 16 – 18 of August IES’s team travelled to the North Karelia in Finland. There they met true Citizen Science experts and practitioners named the Snowchange Cooperative who are also IES’s partners in SciDoors project. The founder of the Snowchange Cooperative Dr. Tero Mustonen is a passionate defender of traditional knowledge. He demonstrated how using traditional knowledge and co-management activities Snowchange Cooperative has managed to restore the landscape of Jukajoki River, in the same time encouraging collaborative governance of the village and its natural resources.