Marine Biodiversity Citizen Science is increasingly recognised at national, European Union and international level as a valuable contributor of robust data to support marine policy reporting requirements, developing marine environmental policy, and engaging citizens in ocean literacy and marine policy. To this end the National Biodiversity Data Centre has drafted a six-year Marine Biodiversity Citizen Science Strategy (2023-2028) with the goals of:
• Engaging and supporting the Irish public in Marine Biodiversity Citizen Science and Ocean Literacy.
• Addressing data gaps in the national knowledge of marine biodiversity with robust validated data.
• Better integrating marine biodiversity citizen science into national policy, research, and education.
• Continuing to build Explore Your Shore! as a national platform to support and showcase Irish Marine Biodiversity Citizen Science.
• Collaborating with stakeholders including Citizen Scientists, NGOs, state agencies and academics in developing and supporting Marine Biodiversity Citizen Science initiatives in Ireland.
• Working with key state agencies to coordinate national Marine Biodiversity Citizen Science activities in supporting their core objectives.
• Encouraging a culture of Open Access in marine biodiversity data in Ireland.
The National Biodiversity Data Centre is currently consulting on the strategy with the Explore Your Shore! stakeholders, but each opinion from the public can be very useful and is welcome by the 31st July 2022, especially in terms of the Strategy’s Goals and Objectives.
Consultation responses can be submitted via the short consultation questionnaire at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/8FJQYHX, whereas a copy of the Draft Strategy Document can be downloaded below.