Environment

Citizen Science

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Overview

The Story

Bantay Kalikasan piloted a Citizen Science Program in Lobo, Batangas – a town in the Verde Island Passage (VIP), recognized as a global center of marine biodiversity and the newest declared Mission Blue Hope Spot. The Citizen Science project began with coral reef monitoring in 2020. The program connected community volunteers and LGU staff with biodiversity experts to collect data on the health of the reefs and, consequently, better manage marine protected areas.

Since then, Bantay Kalikasan received 3-year funding from USAID to extend and institutionalize its Citizen Science – coral reef monitoring program in more Batangas, Romblon, and Mindoro areas. The program also expanded the scope of Citizen Science to include seagrass and mangrove monitoring and is currently piloting it in Lobo, Batangas.

Citizen scientists trained
100
Coral reef areas
7
Mangrove forests
2
Seagrass area
1

Challenges

The Philippines is renowned worldwide for its abundant natural resources and varied ecosystems. Unfortunately, the country has experienced a steady decline in its seagrass, reefs, and mangroves in recent years, posing a threat to its vast biodiversity. Additionally, there is a need for more scientists to assist in environmental research and conservation efforts.

Solutions

Bantay Kalikasan's Citizen Science Project connects its network of scientists to its partner communities. The scientists train the communities in species identification and tracking, how to use tools and devices, and data management – with the belief that with the proper knowledge and tools, they can positively impact their environment through regular ecosystem surveys. The project also aims to update the communities' reef, mangrove, and seagrass maps to identify areas of concern. The wealth of scientifically grounded information obtained through the Citizen Science initiative is also a compelling resource for effectively influencing policies and decision-making to address environmental concerns.

The project also aims to update the communities' reef, mangrove, and seagrass maps to identify areas of concern. The wealth of scientifically grounded information obtained through the Citizen Science initiative also serves as a compelling resource for influencing policies and decision-making to address environmental concerns effectively.

Impact of Your Donation

With your help, we can increase our reach and provide more communities access to Citizen Science training, resources, and opportunities. Your donation will also help us expand our scope under Citizen Science – from reefs, mangroves, and seagrass to cover forests, rivers, and more. We can provide livelihood incentives to communities to sustain their participation.

Help us empower more people to become guardians of the environment today!