E-Biodiversity India - A Citizen Science Project- CSR Projects India
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Last Updated:  29/11/2019

 

Project Pitch By: Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra

 

Proposed Project Title


E-Biodiversity India - A Citizen Science Project

 

Thematic Area

Ensuring environmental sustainability, ecological balance, wildlife & natural resources conservation

Sub Thematic Area

Natural Resources Conservation

Project Synopsis

E-Biodiversity seeks to promote scientific understanding among children between the ages of 11 and 14 through the lens of applied scientific research between middle schools Maharashtra, India. Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra with the collaboration of BNHS implemented the e-Mammal project successfully in twenty different schools in Maharashtra, India in the recent past. We have successfully trained & engaged directly 2000 school students and indirectly 10000 school students in mammal study through the citizen-science initiative. During the project, students collected more than 3 lakh trap camera images including endangered species like Tiger, Indian Pangolin, and Asiatic Wild Dog etc. Considering its immense value in engaging and providing the latest conservation tools to students, we aim to study all biodiversity not only Mammals through the e-Biodiversity project. Having the children interact with each other will enhance cultural awareness and understanding while helping all students prepares to become global citizens in an international workforce.
 
 
 

Overview of the Proposed Project

Estimated Budget
INR 0.6 Cr - INR 1.0 Cr
Proposed Location
Raigad, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri

Key Project Partners
Academic Institute

Project Status
Already Implemented-Replicable
 

Facts

Beneficiary Type (Primary): Children
Beneficiary Type (Secondary):
Estimated No. of Beneficiaries: 1000- 3000 Individuals
Status of Baseline Survey: Already Done
 
 
 

Proposed Project Description

Introduction

e-Biodiversity is a citizen Science-based project that uses point and shoots camera and Camera traps to document floral and faunal diversity. The camera traps are motion-activated and have an infrared flash, to minimize the disturbance to the animals. Here Point and shoot cameras are also used to document the floral and other faunal diversity across 5 districts.

Results of the camera and trap camera photos will be uploaded onto the e-Biodiversity website and stored in a depository, which will become part of the larger database used by scientists worldwide studying biodiversity.

Having the children interact with each other will enhance cultural awareness and understanding while helping all students prepares to become global citizens in an international workforce. A social networking component (similar to Facebook) will allow children to share experiences with each other.

After completion of the program, an exhibition of the photos click by students will be organized by location and selected images from each location will be displayed in the auditorium. One teacher and two outstanding students from each school will be invited to this exhibition at Chiplun and will be facilitated and they will get a chance to share their experience with the audience. The appeal will be made through the mass media to the common public and also to the policymakers to visit the exhibition and interact with the students to understand and support this crucial program.


Target Group 

20 rural and tribal schools in Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg districts of Maharashtra.


How it will work

Each school will receive 1 camera traps & 1 point & shoot camera to join the e-mammal network, develop local programming and engage students to help document indigenous wildlife. Camera traps will be placed on participating school campuses and surrounding. Each site will also receive a laptop, to ensure all schools have the same capability to capture pictures of wildlife.

We construct the biodiversity website which is a data management system. This cyber-tool is designed to not only be useful to scientists, but also to the citizen scientists who aid scientists in the photo collection. Camera trappers use our software to look at pictures, identify animals and upload them for review and archive at the Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra. These data then help address important conservation-related questions. The pictures provide a unique view into the secret world of wildlife.

Networking through the e-Biodiversity website will provide a common platform for students of rural Maharashtra from different geographical, technological and economic backgrounds. This experience will improve their knowledge, increase their curiosity about biodiversity and cultural diversity in different regions within Maharashtra and develop a greater appreciation for the natural world.


Evaluation of Project

The team will formulate pre- and post-evaluations from participating students through a simple questionnaire survey. In addition, we will also evaluate teachers to gauge whether e-Biodiversity India strengthened the science curriculum already in place in the classroom, whether students’ interest in the sciences improved, whether their understanding of cultural diversity has expanded and whether the teachers’ participation in the e-Biodiversity website acquired useful tips and best practices info from their colleagues around the world.


Expected Outcomes

This incredible opportunity will not only allow students to make their own scientifically important discoveries about animals, but also share these online with their peers at their own school, and abroad. Teachers will receive sample lesson plans and tips on how to incorporate e-Biodiversity into their existing curriculum. By archiving their data at the SNM, their camera-trap discoveries will also be available for direct comparisons by other scientists, a tertiary participant group, throughout the world.


  1. 1000 students will get directly involved in this project and will carry out the camera trapping and Camera handling.
  2. Around 5000 students will get indirectly involved in this project through various project related activities like painting competition and nature trails.
  3. Students will learn the scientific method through hands-on involvement in an actual research study, increasing their understanding of the sciences, learning about potential career paths and gaining practical workforce experience.
  4. Students will learn about and increasing their awareness of cultural diversity by interacting with their peers in India through this exchange.
  5. Through this once-in-a-lifetime experience, children’s attitudes and opinions of other cultures will improve, their awareness and skills in working with diverse groups and bridging cultural divides will be strengthened, their leadership skills will grow and their motivations and aspirations for pursuing a career in a global economy will develop.
  6.  Schools will receive permanent assets like camera, laptop, which will help schools to improve teaching and learning experience.
  7. School teachers will establish a network with SNM experts and will get the opportunity to network with each other through the website, sharing best practices and offering teaching advice, which will strengthen their teaching practices.
  8. Increased data to the e-Biodiversity website, accessible to any user, will strengthen the scientific integrity of the e- Biodiversity project and provide scientists around the globe with more robust data and environmental awareness; and
  9. The participating schools SNM will expand their offerings to the public by showing images

e-Biodiversity will train the next generation of scientists and teach middle school students not only about the process of research but also about working collaboratively in a globalized world. e-Biodiversity will also provide teachers with content to engage their students in applied science and the opportunity to network with their peers in other nations regarding best teaching practices.


Sustainability

Schools can continue to capture images of wildlife, upload them onto the website and virtually interact with each other well beyond the life of the grant. After initial training, schools can continue to explore the biodiversity around their campus/village each year with a new batch with minimum need for funding.

 
 

Salient Features

  1. This project engages school students in floral and faunal study through citizen-science initiative and trains them to use Laptop, point n shoot camera
  2. It will increase the awareness of cultural and biological diversity amongst the participants and provide first-hand experience of technology to rural
  3. This project will provide teachers with content to engage their students in applied science as well as help to develop network of NGO and Schools for
 

About Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra

Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra (SNM) has been actively protecting and conserving the biodiversity of Konkan region for last 27 years. Established, on 12th February 1992, SNM is active in the coastal Maharashtra region viz. districts of Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg of Maharashtra. Along with nature conservation, SNM has also been repeatedly conducting environmental education activities to increase education and awareness level in community. As a commitment towards betterment of society, SNM also initiated awareness programs on blood donation, post-humous eye and body donation in August 2014. It gradually facilitated necessary support through networking to bring them into reality. In last 27 years, SNM has achieved many feathers in its cap for effectively protecting and preserving the rich local biodiversity as well as blossoming lives of many.

 

The organization has successfully established a number of conservation initiatives across the Konkan region stretching over 720 km of the west coast of Indian Land. Being enthusiastic and innovative the building block of the organization is a tiny little principle as “Nature conservation through livelihood generation”, which has anchored all the activities in the Konkan region.


Important Conservation Projects

  • Pangolin Conservation
  • Marine Turtle Conservation
  • Vulture conservation
  • White Bellied Sea Eagle
  • Indian Swiftlet
 
 

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