The Critical Role of Citizen Science in the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity

Thursday, 9 June 2022 | 8:00 EST | 12:00 UTC | 14:00 CEST

In this virtual session of the Fifth Science-Policy Forum for Biodiversity, representatives from leading scientific agencies, including ISC Science Officer, Anne-Sophie Stevance, natural history museums from around the world, and other global experts, and engaged citizens will exchange experiences on citizen science, reflect on its contributions in support of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and discuss collaboration opportunities to scale up its impact. The outcomes of this event will be reported at COP15.


Welcome and opening remarks

  • Gisele Didier, Director of Research, Alexander von Humboldt Institute
  • Alison Cawood, Director of Public Engagement, Smithsonian Institution
  • Claudio Chiarolla, CBD Secretariat

Background and understanding of citizen science

  • Carolina Soto, Researcher leader Participatory Science, Alexander von Humboldt Institute

Experiences of citizen science from around the world

  • Moderator: Mirna Inés Fernández Pradel, Global Youth Biodiversity Network
  • William McShea, Smithsonian Institution
  • Lorraine Lecourtois, Kew Botanical Gardens
  • Ana María Benavides, Botanic Garden, Medellín
  • Namhla Mbona, South African National Biodiversity Institute
  • Dominik Eulberg, Musician and Guest Scientist at Berlin’s Museum of Natural History, Germany
  • Benoît Fontaine, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle
  • Joaquín Cochero, Instituto de Limnología Argentina
  • Juan Carlos Caicedo, Colombia, grupo Ecomunitario, citizen scientist

Interactive discussion – Participants are encouraged to share their own experiences, stories, insights, and lessons learned.

Integrating citizen science into policymaking

  • Moderator: Anne-Sophie Stevance, International Science Council
  • Carlos Galindo-Leal, CONABIO
  • Claire Burnel, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle
  • Herizo Andrianandrasana, Conservation Practicioner from Madagascar
  • Antonio Mauro Saraiva, University of Sao Paolo, and Natalia Pirani Ghilardi-Lopes, University of ABC, Brazil
  • Andre Mader, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
  • Tim Hirsch, Global Biodiversity Information Facility

Closing remarks

  • Jihyun Lee, Director of Science, Society and Sustainable Futures Division, CBD Secretariat


Citizen Science, also sometimes referred to as crowdsourcing, participatory, or community science, provides a powerful opportunity to engage and leverage the public in collecting, analyzing and interpreting data, formulating research questions, and co-creating and developing relevant applications and solutions. Citizen scientists play an integral role in producing new knowledge and discoveries, and their participation in scientific processes can raise awareness, increase scientific literacy, provide large and diverse data sets that might have been otherwise unavailable and lead to a stronger connection and understanding of nature. A growing field of practice, new and emerging technologies, and a better-connected public are rapidly enhancing citizen science as a key tool in the quest for a sustainable future. Additionally, citizen science provides an opportunity for the public and scientists to influence policy and decision-making at a range of different scales.

Image by Joe Whalen on Unsplash


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