Our objective is to raise public awareness by establishing ‘citizen science’ as best practice to enhance understanding of the biodiversity and ecosystem services through proactively engaging volunteers. We will train at least 150 students, professors, NGO staff, young adults and other volunteers in bird identification and data entry to the NBMS , directly contributing to achieving the target of training 240 volunteers set for the whole BG03 Programme. The project covers at least 130 plots which equals to 9,000 – 17,000 observations, the data of which will be exported to the NBMS using the established protocols between this and the BSPB database. The project will strengthen the bilateral relations through involvement of the Norwegian Nord-Trondelag University College who will support the field training. This volunteer work will be publicised broadly – reaching over 50,000 people through the BSPB’s web-site and the e-bulletin maintained by the partner, as well as the 870,000 monthly readers of Dnevnik. Our tailored publicity plan will result in 20-25 publications contributing to deliver BG03 publicity priorities.
Summary of project results
The nature conservation is possible only with large data sets. To increase the scale of public participation in Bulgaria it was necessary to develop tools supporting its effort and increasing its knowledge with education and information. The main goal of the project was to attract public attention to citizen science activities with active involvement of volunteers. Within the project is developed one of the first instruments for biodiversity data entry accessible to the public. This instrument is of key importance for increasing the role of citizen science and allows participation of unlimited number of volunteers with minimal support. As a result, the time for analysis of collected information is increased. A report for the state of the common birds was published and presented at a press-conference. The report communicates the trends in the conditions of the birds in Bulgaria and informs the public for the state of nature, aiming to increase the public awareness and attract new participants in monitoring activities. Тhe report was also submitted online-at the project website and at the social networks and was sent via an e-bulletin to subscribers of “Dnevnik” newspaper. Within the project 180 students, professors, NGO staff, young adults and other volunteers were trained in the methods for monitoring common birds and data entry into the National biodiversity monitoring system. With the conducted training the project suggested that volunteers can have active role not only in data collection but also in the process of analysis. The main target groups of the project were students and representatives of scientific institutes and non-governmental organizations. Owing to the Norwegian University NORD, participants in the bird identification training course can test and prove their skills in bird identification. The successfully completed tests by the participants give them the opportunity to receive a certificate from the Norwegian University which shows their increased qualification and certifies the quality of data collected. As a result of the partnership between Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds and Foundation “Capital” 50 000 potential volunteers were reached.
Summary of bilateral results