Citizen science plays a key role in data collection on the presence and pathways of litter in the environment, on land, rivers, lakes and the ocean. Citizen science — active public involvement in scientific research — is advancing; there is a growing stakeholder network of civil society organisations and marine scientists collaborating on professionalising citizen science. Citizen science contributes to expanding data collection to a wider geographical area. Based on data analysis campaigns can be developed to address specific types of litter found in the monitored area, which contributes to advancing applied science. Citizens engaging in litter clean-ups do not necessarily have the knowledge about scientific methods, monitoring protocols, data analysis and reporting and is met by scepticism by some. Collaboration between citizens and scientists is key.
One example of such cross-sector collaboration is the Labuan Bajo monitoring program. Since 2021 the Ministry of Fisheries of Republic of Korea and Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation supports O.S.E.A.N and Indonesian Waste Platform (IWP) on developing a comprehensive citizen science program, which includes training on monitoring protocol and data logging.
An initial workshop was conducted by O.S.E.A.N in October 2019 in Labuan Bajo, on Flores island in East Indonesia. In October 2021 IWP team conducted a second monitoring in the same 5 locations with guidance from OSEAN team. Report will be published in December 2021.
Capacity building Workshop 30 April – 1 May 2022
Capacity building & public awareness. A 2-day Citizen Science workshop was held on 30 April (theory) and 1 May (fieldwork) 2022 by IWP in collaboration with OSEAN, PEMSEA, Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of Republic of Korea.
Asia Pacific Civil Forum on Marine Litter – Marine Litter News – Volume 13 · Issue 2 · December 2021 – The Important Role of Citizen Science to Combat Marine Litter and Ways It Can Transform Research
Citizen science in the field
We developed campaign materials for socialisation about the need to reduce single-use plastics, based on the data we collected in our citizen program. One campaign addresses single-use plastic used in subsistence fisheries .