Wildlife Conservation through Citizen Science Participation

Timeline :  24 months

Required Funds : LKR 3,400,000

Science relies a lot on data collection. However, in a developing country like Sri Lanka, scientists are often challenged with lack of resources such as manpower which restrict their work to limited geographical areas.

However technical it may be, science is not only restricted to scientists. Any citizen who is passionate about environmental conservation and is willing to donate their time and effort, can also contribute to science and that is where citizens can play a vital role in supporting to gather data and information necessary for the scientific community.

Citizen science projects act as a networking platform between passionate individuals from around the country and environmental scientists. Data collected by individuals will not only become beneficial for the environmental scientific community, but enhance the knowledge and skills of individuals, especially in rural communities, making this project a symbiotic relationship scientists and citizens of the county.

While citizen science projects are common in many other countries, in Sri Lanka, only a handful of projects exist and are mostly restricted to Colombo which makes this project even more necessary.

In a country like Sri Lanka, knowledge from rural communities is an important source of data. Some areas however, have limited access to smart phones and so a mobile application alone will not be an effective method of gathering data from such communities. Education programmes targeting school children is another effective approach in creating awareness on the topic of environment, encouraging the youth to actively partake in conservation initiatives.

This project aims to develop two methods where both rural and urban communities can contribute towards gathering information on fauna and flora of the country and provide this information to build a long term central database of the country’s wildlife. The scientific community can utilize such data and information to implement conservation measures to protect our country’s natural wealth.

The project will be conducted as an educational experience which will bring about an environmentally conscious younger generation; a platform for youth to contribute to the country’s biodiversity database, which will assist with wildlife conservation.

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