26 November 2018 - 29 November 2018
Venice, Italy

H2020 WeObserve Project - First Annual Plenary Meeting & Forums for Communities of Practice

The WeObserve project will hold its Year 1 Plenary Meeting followed by the forums of its Communities of Practice at COWM2018

The IIASA led, H2020 funded WeObserve project will hold its first annual plenary meeting on 26 Nov 2018, bringing together the consortium partners to review the first year of activities since the project's launch last December, and forge plans for 2019. This meeting will take place in Venice, Italy, ahead of the 2nd International COWM Conference (COWM2018), which will also host the forums of the four WeObserve Communities of Practice (CoPs).

During COWM2018, WeObserve will launch its fourth and last CoP on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Citizen Observatories. As with the currently running CoPs, CoP-SDGs will be a vehicle for sharing and consolidating knowledge and best practices on key topics related to Citizen Observatories (COs). In addition to the CoP-SDGs launch, the currently running CoPs will hold their second face to face forums at COWM2018.

Are you already involved in citizen science and citizen observatory initiatives or working groups? Are you keen to exchange experiences with like-minded citizen science enthusiasts? Then consider participating in a CoP that represents your area of expertise. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to engage with a wide range of stakeholders in the field of citizen science and COs!

The first three CoPs were launched earlier this year on 6 Jun during the Citizen Science Workshop Day at the 2nd International ECSA Conference. Below is a description of each CoP thematic area:

The CoPs aim to strengthen the knowledge base about COs, and move citizen science into the mainstream of environmental management and decision making. As such, a wide range of stakeholders is invited to take part, including public authorities (local, regional, national, EU), civil society organizations, research and academia, citizens and citizen science working groups.

CoP activities include thematic knowledge co-creation, generating new solutions or agreeing on how to use existing ones, and knowledge sharing activities (meetings, events, conferences).

Not yet convinced to join a CoP? Consider the following opportunities and benefits of participation:

  • Sharing ideas, knowledge or experiences and work with others (networking)
  • Leveraging ideas or knowledge
  • Working towards concrete solutions in citizen science and optimise relevant resources
  • Testing and implementing services in a collaborative environment
  • Helping to broaden your own and your organisation’s knowledge and horizons (capacity development)
  • Linking up with relevant initiatives at a global, national, regional or local level

Each of the four CoPs receive support and tools for managing its activities (online and F2F) and undertaking dissemination and outreach activities. The CoPs will exist as long as they continue to provide value to their members, with WeObserve support to draw on for the project duration. Please read our Terms of Reference for more details.

The last decade has seen a rise in citizen science and crowdsourcing initiatives for environmental monitoring. In the EU, efforts have been channeled into developing Citizen Observatories (COs), which have been supported by the Seventh Framework Program (FP7) and continue to be funded under Horizon 2020 (H2020). COs are a means by which communities can monitor and report on their environment and access information that is easily understandable for decision making. Among these COs is the IIASA-led LandSense initiative, focused on delivering a modern citizen-driven platform for land use and land cover monitoring. To consolidate ongoing citizen science efforts, the WeObserve project aims to bring together the current set of European H2020 COs, enabling improved coordination between them and promoting their related activities at regional, European, and international levels. WeObserve will coordinate the delivery of needed CO knowledge to avoid duplication, share best practices, and identify barriers and synergies. This framework will also promote standards to ensure interoperability, maximize impact, and facilitate uptake by environmental authorities. We Observe is coordinated by IIASA and funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No. 776740

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Last edited: 19 November 2018


Dahlia Domian

Project Research Manager

Ecosystems Services and Management

T +43(0) 2236 807 403

Steffen Fritz

EOCS Center Head and ESM Acting Program Director

Ecosystems Services and Management

T +43(0) 2236 807 353


Laso Bayas JC, See L, Fritz S, Sturn T, Perger C, Dürauer M, Karner M, Moorthy I, et al. (2016). Crowdsourcing In-Situ Data on Land Cover and Land Use Using Gamification and Mobile Technology. Remote Sensing 8 (11): e905. DOI:10.3390/rs8110905.

See L, Fritz S, Dias E, Hendriks E, Mijling B, Snik F, Stammes P, Vescovi FD, et al. (2016). Supporting Earth-Observation Calibration and Validation: A new generation of tools for crowdsourcing and citizen science. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Magazine 4 (3): 38-50. DOI:10.1109/MGRS.2015.2498840.

See L, McCallum I, Liu W , Keating A, Hochrainer-Stigler S, Mochizuki J , Fritz S, Dugar S, et al. (2016). The potential of crowdsourcing and mobile technology to support flood disaster risk reduction. In: European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2016, 17–22 April 2016, Vienna, Austria.


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