The contributions of citizen science to SDG monitoring and reporting on marine plastics

Fraisl, D. ORCID:, See, L. ORCID:, Bowers, R., Seidu, Omar, Fredua, K.B., Bowser, A., Meloche, M., Weller, S., et al. (2023). The contributions of citizen science to SDG monitoring and reporting on marine plastics. Sustainability Science 18 2629-2647. 10.1007/s11625-023-01402-4.

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The accumulation of plastic litter in marine environments is a major environmental challenge along with the difficulties in their measurement because of the massive size of the oceans and vast circulation of plastic litter, which is being addressed as part of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Citizen science, public participation in scientific research and knowledge production, represents a potential source of data for SDG monitoring and reporting of marine plastic litter, yet there has been no evidence of its use to date. Here, we show how Ghana has become the first country to integrate existing citizen science data on marine plastic litter in their official monitoring and reporting of SDG indicator 14.1.1b for the years 2016–2020, which has also helped to bridge local data collection efforts with global monitoring processes and policy agendas by leveraging the SDG framework. The results have been used in Ghana’s 2022 Voluntary National Review of the SDGs, and reported on the UN SDG Global Database, as well as helping to inform relevant policies in Ghana. In addition, here, we present a pathway that can be adopted by the relevant government authorities in other countries that have an interest in following a similar citizen science data validation and reporting process for this indicator and potentially others.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA)
Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA) > Novel Data Ecosystems for Sustainability (NODES)
Strategic Initiatives (SI)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2023 13:36
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2023 11:52

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