A Citizen-Science approach to collecting data

The overall idea of “Citizen-science” is collecting information from a broad audience who is not necessarily scientists. With this concept, the quantity of collected data compensates for the lack of quality assessment.

Although still in their infancy with the oil palm industry, several companies are starting to use this approach to document species presence within their estates. Of course, documenting the presence of a species within a plantation doesn’t mean that the species is protected.

However, since it is difficult to manage what we don’t know properly, the first necessary step to develop and implement sound biodiversity management and monitoring strategy is to collect information about animal’s presence. Citizen-science is one of the components of the toolbox available for biodiversity management in an oil palm context.

The pictures show teams of researchers conducting orangutan surveys and collecting field data in the forest. The citizen-science approach is using simple ways to collect data that can be used by everyone.

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