Citizen Science Projects
With the invaluable support from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), five small citizen science projects are being implemented now in four countries in the region to increase the capacities of IPEN Participating Organizations in doing citizen while also addressing urban pollution issues.
Watch out for the results of the citizen science projects in a couple of months.
IMPLEMENTING ORGANIZATION: Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS)
LOCATION: Davao City
Project Title: Davao Citizen Science Heritage Trees Project
IDIS undertook this project to protect the heritage trees of Davao City. The initiative was proposed in response to the continuing problem of urban deforestation wherein large and old trees are being cut to give way to infrastructure development. Through this project, IDIS aims to continue addressing air pollution in the urban areas, particularly the increasing amount of carbon monoxide, a common air pollutant, by generating data that can be used to push for legislation to protect these trees. They will also consider analyzing the results in relation to air pollution levels in the city vis-à-vis health levels for its residents. The results of this project will be turned over to the City Council to be used for policy recommendations towards a Heritage Tree Protection Ordinance in Davao City.
IMPLEMENTING ORGANIZATION: Research Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED)
LOCATION: Hanoi City
Project Title: Community Awareness on the use and address of Municipal Plastic Waste in Hanoi
This project will be looking into the community’s awareness of municipal plastic waste (MPW) in Hanoi, Vietnam, and ways to address its proliferation. The initiative was conceptualized due to the increasing number of MPW in Hanoi, insufficient infrastructure for collection and treatment of the said waste, and the low level of public awareness of the negative impacts of MPW on the environment and human health. The project aims to involve students and to improve their knowledge of MPW issues. It also aims to create a core group of young advocates who will continue to raise public awareness on MPW and work on policy advocacy in the future.
IMPLEMENTING ORGANIZATION: ECOTON
LOCATION: East Java
Project Title: Microplastics Detectives of Surabaya River
This project will look into microplastics contamination in the Surabaya River, a lower tributary of the Brantas River which flows from Mlirip DAM to Jagir DAM and passes through Mojokerto, Sidoarjo, Gresik as well as Surabaya City in East Java. More than 3 million people of the municipality of Surabaya rely on the river for their drinking water supply, and yet the communities along the river tend to utilize it as a dumping site for their domestic waste, which mostly consists of plastics. There are also about 400 industries disposing of their raw wastewater directly into the Surabaya River, turning the river into toxic sludge. This project aims to educate and train the youth to become stewards of the river’s health as well as advocates for the prevention of plastic consumption and dumping, thereby empowering them to become responsible, productive, and participatory members of society.
IMPLEMENTING ORGANIZATION: Nexus3 Foundation (Formerly BaliFokus Foundation)
LOCATION: Several cities in Indonesia
Project Title: Investigation of plastics types in households, Waste Banks, recycling facilities, and illegal dumping sites
The general objective of the project is to investigate the type of plastics found in households, Bank Sampah, or Waste Banks, plastic recycling facilities, and illegal dumping sites where wastes are burned. This project aims to encourage citizen participation for gathering data and generating new information about the types of plastics from the sites and will work in partnership with several scientists as well.
Nexus3 will be collecting samples of plastic toys, plastic pellets from recycling facilities, chicken eggs, and ashes from several dumping sites. Since plastic products are made up of several chemical additives, these samples will be analyzed for harmful chemicals and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
IMPLEMENTING ORGANIZATION: Consumers Association of Penang (CAP)
LOCATION: Kampung Selamat
Project Title: Sungai Kreh River Water Quality Sampling and Analysis
This project was created to investigate river pollution believed to be caused by the direct discharge of pig waste into the Sungai Kreh River, which is classified as a dead river (Class V). The problems identified include inappropriate treatment of pig waste, undersized pig pens, lack of enforcement for environmental laws, and inadequate river monitoring, all of which have combined to turn the 13km long water canal into a foul-smelling black ooze. Communities in the area rely heavily on water supply from the river for irrigation; their seasonal rice crop production has dropped drastically, while fishers reported a decline in their catch due to the pollution. This project will seek to identify the major pollutant source of the Sungai Kreh, and water quality sampling will be conducted at multiple sampling points upstream, at discharge sites, and downstream of the river. Citizen scientists from the affected community and across different demographic backgrounds will be involved in identifying the sampling locations while laboratory technicians will be engaged to collect the samples.