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Inhalt: Citizen Science

Coordinators’ team contact

Background, mission and aims

In recent years, there has been a global effort to implement measures and generate crucial information about biodiversity. Initiatives in this regard are driven by treaties and international agreements, supported by the most advanced scientific knowledge, including local and indigenous wisdom. A notable example is the IPBES Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination, and Food Production, which warns of the global threat to pollinators directly resulting from human activities, posing a serious risk to ecosystem functioning and human well-being worldwide.

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There is consensus on the urgency of collecting data and information on pollinators and pollination services to guide future actions. The Citizen Science approach, with a well-established tradition in various countries, has proven to be a promising method. There is a growing recognition of the importance of citizen science in generating useful data to enhance understanding of biodiversity on broad spatial and temporal scales and for the sustainable management of natural resources. The literature already encompasses a variety of studies using data collected by volunteers. Significant findings on pollinators and pollination services have been achieved through these contributions from non-academic individuals, providing insights into the impacts of invasive species, new occurrences, and patterns of species richness and distribution.


Studies also demonstrate that Citizen Science already makes substantial contributions to international biodiversity monitoring on a large scale, providing data on species distribution and population abundance, as well as specific characteristics such as phenology and ecosystem function variables, including productivity. These contributions are crucial for developing indicators aligned with sustainable development goals.


The contributions of citizen science go beyond data collection; this research practice, when understood more broadly and involving various partnerships between scientists and social actors, not only generates new scientific knowledge but also promotes public engagement with science, social empowerment, and contributes to scientific and environmental literacy. It enhances decision-making and the formulation of socially relevant and oriented public policies.

Despite the significance of this field, there isn’t at ICPPR a working group that brings together researchers interested in Citizen Science. So, the Citizen Science Working Group (CSWG), established following the XII International Symposium on Pollination in South Africa (2023) by the research team, is committed to bring together researchers who share an interest in and dedication to citizen science. Our mission is to promote and broaden the adoption of citizen science as a transdisciplinary approach. We aim to encourage collaborative and participatory research, enrich scientific knowledge and understanding, raise public awareness, enhance scientific and environmental literacy, and contribute to conservation efforts in the field of pollination and pollinators.

The group also aims to: Foster collaboration among citizen science initiatives; Establish partnerships with citizen science and participatory networks worldwide; Encourage the development of new citizen science projects and initiatives; Facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences related to the practice of citizen science; Contribute to democratizing access to knowledge and scientific literacy regarding pollination and pollinators through citizen science.

Values and Principles

At the core of our Citizen Science Working Group lie foundational values, principles, and policies that guide our collective mission endeavor towards advancing knowledge, promoting inclusivity, and fostering a meaningful impact. Our commitment is deeply rooted in:

Diversity and inclusion:

We are committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community. We welcome participants from all gender, LQBTQIA+, ethnics, nationality, backgrounds, and expertise levels, recognizing the strength that different perspectives bring to the richness of our collaborative efforts.


Collaboration is not just encouraged but ingrained in our approach. We actively promote and facilitate collaboration among participants, researchers, educators, and community leaders. By fostering meaningful partnerships, we strive to maximize the impact of Citizen Science efforts, pooling diverse expertise for a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges at hand.

Environmental and Scientific Literacy:

We believe in promoting environmental and scientific literacy as a fundamental principle. By providing comprehensive educational resources and raising awareness about the pivotal role of pollinators in sustaining ecosystems and global food production. Through our initiatives, we seek to empower individuals with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions for the well-being of our planet.

Ethical Data Handling:

Central to our principles and values is the ethical treatment of data.  We emphasize the ethical treatment of data and information, respecting privacy and confidentiality. Simultaneously, we mandate transparency in research methodologies to ensure responsible and ethical use of the information collected.

Scientific Rigor:

Our core value is to uphold high standards of scientific rigor throughout our work.

From data collection to analysis and interpretation, we ensure meticulous adherence to rigorous scientific methodologies. This commitment guarantees the credibility and reliability of the information contributed by our members.


The CSWG is open for all members of the Council, participants, and members of ICPPR, including scientists, beekeepers, farmers, agricultural and environmental technicians, educators, organizations, and all citizens interested in science activities on pollination and pollinators. All members of WGCS act on a voluntary basis and are therefore unpaid for their duties. Experts represent themselves and not their professional affiliation.

How the group works

The CSWG will use email lists and to encourage and maintain the exchange of knowledge and experience in citizen science among members and social media to engage new members to the group. We will also use the group’s membership to promote and disseminate information about the citizen science initiatives and projects focused on pollination and pollinators. Finally, we will organize on-lines symposia and workshops, and/or collaborate with other citizen science networks and institutions organizers, to discuss and promote the subject at both national and international meetings.

How to participate

To participate in the working groups, please contact the respective coordinators of the working group. Please do not forget to become a member of the overall ICPPR even if you are a member of the working group already. To be a member of the overall ICPPR is free of any charges. Please see MEMBERSHIP for documents and more information.


The ICPPR Citizen Science Working Group currently has no external funding, but we welcome suggestions for potential funding sources to further our activities.


  • Bonney, R., Phillips, T. B., Ballard, H. L., & Enck, J. W. (2016). Can citizen science enhance public understanding of science? Public Understanding of Science, 25(1), 2–16. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662515607406
  • Chandler, M., See, L., Copas, K., Bonde, A. M. Z., López, B. C., Danielsen, F., Legind, J. K., Masinde, S., Miller-Rushing, A. J., Newman, G., Rosemartin, A., & Turak, E. (2017). Contribution of citizen science towards international biodiversity monitoring. Biological Conservation, 213, 280–294. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.09.004
  • Dickinson, J. L., Shirk, J., Bonter, D., Bonney, R., Crain, R. L., Martin, J., Phillips, T., & Purcell, K. (2012). The current state of citizen science as a tool for ecological research and public engagement. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 10(6), 291–297. https://doi.org/10.1890/110236
  • Domroese, M.C., Johnson, E.A., Why watch bees? Motivations of citizen science volunteers in the Great Pollinator Project, Biological Conservation (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.08.020
  • Graham, J. R., Campbell, J. W., Tsalickis, A., Stanley-Stahr, C., & Ellis, J. D. (2023). Observing Bees and Wasps: why surveys and monitoring programs are critical and how they can improve our understanding of these beneficial Hymenopterans. Journal of Pollination Ecology, 33(9), 139–169. https://doi.org/10.26786/1920-7603(2023)725
  • Klinger, Y. P., Eckstein, R. L., & Kleinebecker, T. (2023). iPhenology: Using open-access citizen science photos to track phenology at continental scale. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 14(6), 1424–1431. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.14114
  • McKinley, D. C., Miller-Rushing, A. J., Ballard, H. L., Bonney, R., Brown, H., Cook-Patton, S., Evans, D. M., French, R. A., Parrish, J. K., Phillips, T. B., Ryan, S. F., Shanley, L. A., Shirk, J. L., Stepenuck, K. F., Weltzin, J. F., Wiggins, A., Boyle, O. D., Briggs, R. D., Chapin III, S. F., … Soukup, M. A. (2017). Citizen science can improve conservation science, natural resource management, and environmental protection. Biological Conservation, 208, 15–28. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.05.015
  • Pocock, M. J. O., Chandler, M., Bonney, R., Thornhill, I., Albin, A., August, T., Bachman, S., Brown, P. M. J., Cunha, D. G. F., Grez, A., Jackson, C., Peters, M., Rabarijaon, N. R., Roy, H. E., Zaviezo, T., & Danielsen, F. (2018). Chapter Six - A Vision for Global Biodiversity Monitoring with Citizen Science. In D. A. Bohan, A. J. Dumbrell, G. Woodward, & M. Jackson (Eds.), Advances in Ecological Research (1st ed., pp. 169–223). Academic Press. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.aecr.2018.06.003
  • Suzuki-Ohno, Y., Yokoyama, J., Nakashizuka, T. et al. Utilization of photographs taken by citizens for estimating bumblebee distributions. Sci Rep 7, 11215 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-10581-x
  • Viana, B. F., Souza, C. Q., & Moreira, E. F. (2020). Why the views of Latin American Scientists on Citizen Science as a Tool for Pollinator Monitoring and Conservation Matter? Neotropical Entomology, 49, 604–613 https://doi.org/10.1007/s13744-020-00793-8