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See detailCan citizen science complement official data sources that serve as evidence-base for policies and practice to improve water quality?
König, Ariane UL; Pickar, Karl Arthur UL; Stankiewicz, Jacek UL et al

in Statistical Journal of the IAOS (2020), vol. Pre-Press

Addressing environmental issues in policy making requires recognising these issues as part of a complex socio-ecological system. The evidence base for such policies and associated monitoring and ... [more ▼]

Addressing environmental issues in policy making requires recognising these issues as part of a complex socio-ecological system. The evidence base for such policies and associated monitoring and implementation measures, as well as related official indicators, statistics and environmental accounts are receiving increasing attention. This paper explores the potential of citizen science as a non-traditional source of data to complement the current data production process for evidence-based policy-making, using pollution of surface waters and its effect on associated ecosystems as an example. The paper develops a framework that helps to explore the official data production process in relation to different purposes of environmental policies. This highlights different challenges that the current official data production process sees itself confronted with in relation to the different purposes of the policies and associated monitoring regimes. These questions are explored with reference to the case of evidence-based policy making on water quality of surface freshwater in the EU, with a focus on Luxembourg. The analysis is based on extensive documentary analysis and literature review, as well as a series of interviews and participatory workshops with various stakeholders, and first results of a pilot project work with engaged citizen volunteers to solicit data on water quality with a focus on its nutrient content. On this basis, this paper argues that citizen science has the clear potential to meaningfully contribute both to the evidence base for policy and practice, as well as to an improved governance process. [less ▲]

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