Unesco Green Citizens

Vigie-Nature (Nature Watch)

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Project begin: 01/01/1989

No matter who you are, children, professionals, retired or simply nature lovers, you can help Vigie-Nature. By collecting data and monitoring biodiversity in your living area, you will help Grégoire Loïs and Vigie Nature 10 Programmes teams to fill the gap on biodiversity. Involving citizens and NGOs in a ground-breaking collaboration, Grégoire has enabled the creation of biodiversity monitoring programmes, covering wider countryside and urban areas in France.

http://www.vigienature.fr/

Leading organisation: French Natural History Museum
Covered Countries: France
Theme: Biodiversity, Education for Sustainable Development
Sub-themes: Climate change, Knowledge sharing, Participatory science/citizen science, Rural areas, Urban areas
Selection: 2020
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Initial problem

Biodiversity, in opposition with agriculture, weather or game species, is poorly monitored by the State in France, especially regarding common species of the wider countryside and urban areas. By collaborating with non-professional, Vigie-Nature tries to collect essential data and ideas regarding this aspect of biodiversity.

The positive impacts that the project has made

Vigie-Nature consists in a set of 20 biodiversity monitoring programs, co-animated with NGOs, regarding common species (currently birds, bats, grasshoppers, butterflies, dragonflies, flora, pollinators, shore wildlife, snails, bumblebees) based on various techniques (observation, ultrasound recording, pictures, serious games using apps) and targeting different actors in society (pupils, professionals, amateurs and the general public with no prior knowledge).

By co-creating programmes with NGOs and promoting citizen sciences projects that are standardised and structured, in opposition to the collection of opportunistic data, Vigie-Nature contributes to monitoring biodiversity health in the wider countryside and urban areas. These projects target sectors such as education (pupils and teachers), professionals (green spaces’ gardeners and farmers) and the general public, being naturalists or not. To enhance knowledge and empower everyone, collected data are made available for collaborative analysis with specific tools. The data also feeds ecological research and production of state indicators at the local and national level, setting baselines to benchmark policies and goals to be achieved.

The main positive impact of Vigie Nature has been to keep on Improving the knowledge of participants and empowering them.
Moreover, Vigie Nature has managed to produce biodiversity indicators that are widely used in politics by NGOs and ministries.
Finally, the initiative is now being used in research in human sciences and ecology.

Impacted areas and populations

France and Corsica are the main impact areas of the project. Vigie Nature currently has the aim to extend in french overseas and in other European french-speaking areas.

Obstacles and challenges

Vigie-Nature wishes :
1. to develop more programs,
2. harmonise existing web interfaces for participation as well as collaborative data analysis
3. extend existing sound recording monitoring programs (birds and else)
4. continue to develop AI identification tools without reducing the empowerment of participants

Being accepted and recognised in the research area and in education was not straightforward. Promoting Vigie-Nature by various presentations in public events together with publishing in newspapers, scientific journals and books did help achieve this. Now, Vigie-Nature is considered as an important player in biodiversity assessments and citizen sciences.

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