Earth Challenge 2020 launched this week with the goal of building the world’s biggest ever citizen science movement dedicated to protecting the planet.
Three years in the making, the objective of the campaign is to harness and unleash the transformative power of public engagement by triggering an exponential growth in the exchange, collation and application of scientific data. Users of the Earth Challenge 2020 app – available in 11 languages – will have the chance to take action on issues relating specifically to their country. It also enables them to to play a key role in filling data gaps by gathering important environmental research about where they live, which scientists and policymakers can then use in their work.
The Earth Challenge 2020 is being spearheaded by the Earth Day Network, the Wilson Center and the U.S. Department of State’s Eco-Capitals Forum.
“Now, people everywhere can help build the most up-to-date scientific assessments needed globally, and at the same time take action locally. Everyone can become a citizen scientist and during the pandemic do so from the safety of their homes,” said Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network, the organization that coordinates Earth Day.
Earth Day on 22 April will see the challenge focus initially on air quality and plastic pollution. More issues, including water quality and food security will also be targeted in the months ahead.
Jane Harman, CEO and President of the Wilson Center, added: “As the only think tank participating in the Earth Challenge Initiative, the Wilson Center is pleased to partner with impressive organizations to accomplish what has never been done before: collecting and aggregating a billion points of data to give policymakers, researchers, and the public alike more accurate information about our health and environment. We are an ideas factory, and empowering people around the world to be part of new solutions is what we do best. And this is the essence of citizen science.”