The Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Network
Assisting communities in accessing environmental “information” and transforming that into knowledge.
The Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Network: Assisting communities in accessing environmental information, transforming that information into knowledge, and enabling knowledge in the pursuit of action.
-advocates Community-Based Research (CBR);… research that is conducted with and for , not on , members of the community. Unlike traditional academic research, CBR is collaborative and change oriented and finds its research questions in the needs of communities.
Citizen science is the process whereby citizens are involved in science as researchers, and can also include community-based monitoring (CBM), “a process where concerned citizens, government agencies, industry, academia, community groups, and local institutions collaborate to monitor, track and respond to issues of common community [environmental] concern” (Whitelaw et al. 2003).
Citizen Science functions on a variety of temporal and spatial scales…
CBM has been on the increase in Canada, the U.S and across the globe. The increase has been attributed to an increase in public knowledge and concern about anthropogenic impacts on natural ecosystems and recent public and non-governmental organizations concerns about government monitoring of ecosystems.
Efforts should focus on early detection and prevention
Albro Lake Watch Lake Sections: 1. Golden Park 4. Ambercrest Place Residents 7. East Gravel trail (Bench 1) 2. Boardwalk@ Parking area 5. Boardwalk @ skate park 8. East Gravel trail (Bench 2) 3. Leaman Drive Residents 6. East Boardwalk 9. Shore along Highway 111 Year Date (MM/DD) Section (Location around Lake) Species Identified Description/Comments
As a consequence of the absence or reduction in environmental monitoring by government agencies, community has filled the void. And now, government is being confronted with information from the community. Where does the onus of action lie? What expectations exist and who is accountable? Right now, actions tend to be based on good faith and friendships, but little else.
Funding and in-kind support has been provided by: Government of Western Australia Department of Conservation and Land Management; The Salamander Foundation, Environmental Damages Fund. Oliver Woods 2007