A Citizen Science Approach to Transform Aquatic Ecosystem Management in Armenia | Report on 1st year

The project team (3 women, 2 men) stands on stairs in front of a BOKU building.
The EcoServ project, dedicated to enhancing ecosystem services in Armenia, has achieved notable milestones in the first project year.

A significant event was the attendance of project team member Tigran Keryan at the 5th European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) conference in Vienna (ecsa24), held from April 3rd to April 6th, 2024, hosted by BOKU University and the Museum of Natural History Vienna. The conference focused on the motto 'Change', highlighting that we are in a time of rapid change on multiple levels.

Tigran Keryan's presentation, titled "A Citizen Science Approach to Transform Aquatic Ecosystem Management in Armenia", shed light on the pressing challenges facing Armenian aquatic ecosystems caused by climate change and high population density as well as Armenia's lack of capacities in monitoring and specialists in the field. At the same time, the presentation highlighted the opportunities that citizen science can bring to the sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems, particularly in engaging residents and especially local schools in monitoring and raising awareness of aquatic ecosystems.

The ECSA24 conference was particularly useful for exchanging ideas with specialists in the field and taking into consideration existing experiences to develop a citizen science approach for the EcoServ project which is one of the first attempts to implement in Armenia that can support the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems.

EcoServ contributes to the APPEAR programme’s thematic focus “Protection of the environment and sustainable management of natural resources – mitigating climate change and its impacts, protection of ecosystems, responsible use of natural resources, sustainable energy, water and sanitation”. However, the EcoServ project also targets other thematic areas of the APPEAR programme such as education for all, gender equality, empowerment of women and girls, governance, as well as sustainable economic development. Furthermore, EcoServ strongly contributes to SDG 4 Quality education, SDG 6 Clean water and sanitation as well as SDG 15 Life on Land.

More information about the EcoServ project can be found here and on a new website of the project: https://ecoserv.boku.ac.at/ .