Citizen science tools for engaging local stakeholders and promoting local and traditional knowledge in landscape stewardship

Finn Danielsen, Martin Enghoff, Eyðfinn Magnussen, Tero Mustonen, Anna Degteva, Kia K. Hansen, Nette Levermann, Svein D. Mathiesen, Øystein Slettemark

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Citizen science has been proposed as one way of engaging local stakeholders in landscape stewardship (Plieninger and Bieling 2012). Citizen science encompasses a broad array of approaches in which citizens are involved in one or more aspects of assessment and monitoring of the environment (Bonney et al. 2014). In Europe, most citizen science schemes only involve community members in data collection. The design, analysis and interpretation of the assessment results are undertaken by professional researchers. Recently, experiments have been made to involve community members in all aspects of environmental assessment and monitoring, including scheme design, data interpretation and use of the results for decision making and action (Johnson et al. 2016). Although there are still a number of scientific questions surrounding these approaches and many schemes are still at an early stage of development, the new approaches show a great deal of promise. A topic corresponding with citizen science is the promotion of traditional and indigenous knowledge associated with land use and landscapes (Berkes 2012). We recognise the differences between local and traditional knowledge, indigenous knowledge and knowledge generally held by citizens. Local and traditional knowledge is held by communities with long-term affiliations to specific landscapes. Indigenous knowledge also has long-term affiliations with landscape but has furthermore a specific legal status being protected under international agreements (Convention on Biological Diversity, Article 8j). This chapter analyses the challenges and successes of three schemes that stand out from the majority, because they involve natural resource users directly in monitoring attributes central to their livelihoods (Greenland and Finland) or because of the role of digital technology in facilitating the citizen science activities (Faroe Islands). We begin by describing and explaining the activities and outcomes for each of the three schemes, before presenting our own cross-cutting analysis of the benefits and challenges of such approaches for engaging local stakeholders in landscape stewardship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Science and Practice of Landscape Stewardship
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781316499016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Publication series

NameThe Science and Practice of Landscape Stewardship


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