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CITIZEN SCIENCE

INTRODUCTION

The citizen science initiative seeks to improve the knowledge and understanding of the importance of the ocean and increase stewardship among the youth in coastal communities of the Western Region in Ghana. It focuses on developing tailored communication messages using classroom lessons, field exercises, online videos and presentations, fact sheets and radio and tv outreach programmes to increase awareness on the functions and biodiversity of the ocean and stimulate greater stewardship through an effective community-based environmental monitoring system.

Friends of the Nation have implemented the citizen science initiative since 2007 and it involves mobilizing residents of coastal communities for Environmental Monitoring and Advocacy -CEMAGs, training of community youth leaders including fishers, security agencies, media, citizens and government on fisheries regulations, sustainable fishing practices, wetlands management and Oil Spill Contingency Planning.

Objective

· Establish network of effective community-based environmental monitoring systems for impacts of marine activities on the Ocean and Coastal communities as well as local advocates for sustainable Blue Economy.

· Promote environmental awareness, Ocean literacy and empower coastal communities towards environmental stewardship.

· Collect basic scientific data to influence policy decisions.

Results

· Network of Community Environmental Monitoring and Advocacy Groups (CEMAGs) contributing to Environmental Stewardship in coastal communities.

· Local Citizen scientists monitoring the health of the Ocean and Wetlands.

· Advocated for the inclusion of Oiled Wildlife Life Response Planning in the Oil Spill Contingency Plan.

· Early information systems for reporting oil spills and marine mammals stranding within coastal communities.

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