Citizen Science in support of local communities and nature

Project facts

Project promoter:
Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds(BG)
Project Number:
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:

More information


The participation of citizens and civil society organizations (CSOs) in the process of decision-making and issuance of legislative acts in the field of the environment has been challenged for a number of reasons. The challenges have to do with lack of knowledge of the administrative procedures and lack of access to up-to-date scientific data to motivate opinions and positions. It is not uncommon for citizens concerned about the environment to fail to provide arguments to opinions about environmental impact assessments (EIA) and general development plans (GDP). At the same time data collected by citizens (citizen science) are used for publications and public campaigns in any countries. Participation of citizens in gathering data about birds further motivates them to have an active position about their protection. The project aims at boosting the capacity of CSOs and citizens for their involvement in policy-making related to the environment through facilitated access to scientific data as well as encouraging citizens to gather data. The project will support CSOs to use scientific data during their involvement in policy-making and issuance of legislative acts regarding the environment. The implementation of the project will result in boosted capacity of CSOs and citizen groups for participation in the process of decision-making and adoption of legislative acts, improved quality of engagement of CSOs through the use of scientific data in at least 10 procedures about EIA, an environmental assessment and a general development plan, a developed public portal with visualized scientific data about the distribution of birds on the online platform, launching of a Virtual Atlas of Birds in Bulgaria using the citizen-science approach for data gathering.

Summary of project results

The most important outcome of the project "Citizen’s Science in Support of Local Communities and Nature” is mobilizing citizens to defend their position for the protection of Bulgarian nature. As a result, nearly 7% of the current BSPB members joined following the project activities. The association received greater and more positive civic support by working directly with the citizens than by only disseminating information.  After the end of the project, the work with the citizens will continue through the Facebook groups "Citizens for the Nature", "Close Encounters with Birds" and "Atlas of Birds", by maintaining the SmartBirds Pro application and by continuing the bird watching courses. The interest of the institutions (Ministry of Environment and Water and Executive Environment Agency) in the SmartBirds platform and the data collected through civil science opens up opportunities for sustainability through state support for the management and maintenance of the platform.

Find more on:

Web page of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) for general project information and all the video materials:  

Information on the projects funded by the EEA and Norway Grants is provided by the Programme and Fund Operators in the Beneficiary States, who are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of this information.