LIFE Project Cover Photo

Monitoring biodiversity by a Citizen Science approach for solving environmental problems

Reference: LIFE13 ENV/IT/000842 | Acronym: CSMON-LIFE



The increasing loss of biodiversity can be attributed to the influence of human beings on the world’s ecosystems. The EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy foresees various actions with the aim of halting the loss of biodiversity, conserving and restoring natural habitats, and maintaining and enhancing ecosystems and their services. This strategy requires the cooperation and the engagement of citizens and the launch of ‘citizen science initiatives’. These initiatives have a strong potential for the gathering and interpretation of scientific data, the dissemination of scientific information among the general public, and the active involvement of people in the defense of biodiversity. Today, the main challenge of citizen science is the collection of environmental data of high scientific quality. Policy makers require information systems based on the latest information and communication technology (ICT), which can provide real-time biodiversity data on which to base strategic decisions. GMES, the European Union contribution to the global observation system of systems (GEOSS) and its biodiversity section GEO BON, as well as the shared environmental information system (SEIS), aim at fulfilling such a need.


The CSMON-LIFE project aims at contributing to a new strategic approach, by enlarging and improving the knowledge base for biodiversity policies in Italy, one of the EU countries with the highest biodiversity. This goal will be achieved by involving citizens in data collection and validation, thus accelerating the progress towards the objectives of the European 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, and contributing to the formation of new “green” jobs. The project will promote active collaboration among scientists, public administrations and citizens in discovering, monitoring and protecting biodiversity, thus providing a further contribution to the needs of policy makers. The project will make use of ICT, such as smartphone and tablets, to collect geo-referenced and validated biodiversity data, which will be integrated into the databases of the Italian national biodiversity network. The activities and results will be actively disseminated to local, national and EU administrations, scientific organisations and stakeholder groups.

Expected results:

  • At least 30 citizen scientists trained with the skills necessary to perform data validation;
  • A network of at least 2 000 citizen scientists;
  • At least 20 000 records collected;
  • Dissemination of the aims of the project both in the whole study area and at the national level through different media, in order to reach at least 200 000 citizens;
  • Creation of a distribution map for each of the target species in the survey area;
  • Preparation and dissemination of a white paper on best practices in citizen science, in terms of organisation, data collection and quality issues, to be published both in Italian and English;
  • Organisation of at least two international events with the involvement of the EU infrastructure Lifewatch and the new European Association for Citizen Science (EACS);
  • Organisation of an information campaign on the value and importance of biodiversity;
  • Creation of a sustainable network of citizen scientists;
  • Contribution to the project Sistema Ambiente 2010 of the Italian environment ministry by connecting the databases of CSMON-LIFE to the federated database system of the Italian national biodiversity network; and
  • Contribution of data, technology and methods to European and global networks of biodiversity, including Lifewatch and GEO BON.


    Reference: LIFE13 ENV/IT/000842
    Acronym: CSMON-LIFE
    Start Date: 02/06/2014
    End Date: 02/12/2017
    Total Eligible Budget: 2,204,641 €
    EU Contribution: 1,102,245 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Universit degli Studi di Trieste
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: Piazzale Europa, 1, 34127, Trieste, Italia
    Contact Person: Stefano Martellos
    Email: Send Email
    Website: Visit Website

    LIFE Project Map



    • Awareness raising - Information
    • Urban biodiversity
    • Environmental training - Capacity building
    • Public and Stakeholders participation


    • environmental education
    • monitoring
    • biodiversity
    • environmental awareness
    • public awareness campaign
    • social participation
    • information service


    Name Type
    Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Universit degli Studi di Trieste Coordinator
    UNIROMA1(Dipartimento di Biologia Ambientale, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"), Italy Participant
    UNIROMA2(Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Roma "Tor Vergata"), Italy Participant
    ARP(ARP - Regione Lazio - Regional Park Agency), Italy Participant
    CTS(Centro Turistico Studentesco e giovanile CTS), Italy Participant
    CA(Comunità Ambiente Srl), Italy Participant
    DIVULGANDO(Divulgando S.R.L.), Italy Participant
    IAMB(CIHEAM – Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari), Italy Participant