ACSA’s partnership with the National Landcare Network

This post is from the National Landcare Network website, explaining about the recent partnership between ACSA and NLN.

Citizen Science is a global movement that involves people from all walks of life in real science that matters to them. The Australian Citizen Science Association and the National Landcare Network announce their partnership celebrating people-powered science. The partnership puts community-led science in the spotlight, bridging knowledge gaps for effective land management and biodiversity conservation.

The National Landcare Network (NLN) and Australian Citizen Science Association (ACSA) are peak bodies invested in efforts to support people across Australia in understanding natural environments and fostering a more environmentally sustainable future. Landcare is a 40-year-old community-led movement working from the ground-up restoring the environment and fostering sustainable agriculture. The Australian Citizen Science Association has the mission “to advance citizen science through sharing of knowledge, collaboration, capacity building and advocacy”.

IMAGE – Goulburn/Mulwaree Landcare Community. Goulburn/Mulwaree are members of the Landcare NSW network, and run citizen science activities each spring, participating in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, Australia’s biggest frog count (FrogID Week) and the spring Wild Pollinator Count.

Louise Duxbury, Chair of the National Landcare Network is excited about the future of the partnership.

The majority of citizen science projects in Australia are focused on deepening our knowledge about biodiversity and habitats across Australia because discovering new things is exciting and with better knowledge we can care for them more effectively. There are many different types of citizen science projects underway across the community Landcare from finding new species of fungi to successful restoration methods and long term ecological monitoring projects. This partnership will enable us to bring greater support and resources to the grassroots Landcare community, hitting the ground and counting the numbers where it counts!”

Louise Duxbury

Annie Lane, Chair of the Australian Citizen Science Association, recognises the power of bringing together two national organisations that engage communities at a local level.

Citizen science involves public participation and collaboration in scientific inquiry with the aim to increase scientific knowledge. Citizen science is about more than community engagement – it can provide valuable data that can help researchers answer scientific questions and inform policy and monitoring activities. In Australia, citizen science is recognised as an important tool for monitoring the state of the environment, and to provide data to help halt the extinction crisis”.

Annie Lane

Jessie Oliver, Executive Officer of the Australian Citizen Science Association, recently attended a National Landcare Network Citizen Science online presentation of stories from around the country which highlighted the many amazing Landcare citizen science projects.

The National Landcare Network and the Australia Citizen Science Association are both national bodies with state and territory-based organisations engaging communities on the ground. It was wonderful to get a sense of the range of projects around the country and the potential for us to develop resources and support especially targeted to Australia’s grassroots Landcare community. This partnership will enable us to empower our communities to help the whole citizen science community answer questions they couldn’t answer without working together”.

Jessie Oliver

Jim Adams, CEO of the National Landcare Network, says the role for citizen science to take a farmer focussed approach is an area he looks forward to exploring further.

There are emerging opportunities for citizen science and sustainable agriculture. Collaboration between scientists and farmers can be a cost-effective way to generate fine-grained data sets, and because farmers rely on their farms for their livelihood, they have a stake in the research outcomes. The partnership between the National Landcare Network and the Australian Citizen Science Association will ensure coordination and collaboration of effort between our groups to raise awareness of best practice citizen science approaches for knowledge exchange across both environment and sustainable agriculture domains“.

Jim Adams

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