Citizen science for conservation in Africa (CISCA): April 2019 blog entry

10 Apr 2019

The following blog is written by Rosie Trevelyan, Director, Tropical Biology Association (project lead for the CCI Collaborative Fund project ‘Citizen science for conservation in Africa (CISCA)’).

This project will help translate citizen science species monitoring into conservation action in Africa. There is huge potential for citizen science to help conservation managers engage people to collect the valuable data they need for managing their important habitats and species. Our project will give these managers the skills they need to analyse their citizen science data and present their results, so they can inform conservation practice and policy.

The first six months of the project has focused on preparations for the workshop to be held on 8-12 April 2019. We received a substantial demand for our first workshop; over 150 passionate African citizen science managers from 18 African countries applied to attend. The 23 we selected are working on diverse citizen science projects – from mammals to birds, plants to reptiles, dragonflies to seahorses. Such a diverse forum will provide them with a unique opportunity to share experiences and ideas on how they can use and amplify their work for greater impact in conservation. The participants come from non-governmental organisations, universities, research and conservation institutions, and government research departments in 9 African countries. A pre-workshop questionnaire has been sent out to assess participants current levels of knowledge and training expectations.

The workshop will be hosted by the National Museums of Kenya and has generated a lot of excitement among the members of the Kenyan Bird Map Committee who are taking part.

The workshop and the project is a truly collaborative approach and it is the first time that all the partners have worked together.  We are bringing together the expertise of TBA, BTO and Cambridge Zoology Museum from the UK with the National Museums of Kenya and the Kenya Bird Map committee in Kenya. All organisations are excited to be working together and the resulting programme really could not have come about if any of us were working alone. 

The workshop has now taken place - see images, above.

For more information on the CCI Collaborative Fund project, please visit the project page.