In 2013, Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM) Bahrain initiated its first citizen science program titled “Log our biodiversity” which focuses on recording species present in the Kingdom of Bahrain as a way of encouraging citizens to take an effective role in conversation and promoting collaboration between citizens and experts in the field.  The program aims to:

  • Create a database of species present in Bahrain through logging species encountered by the public to allow for temporal comparison by scientists to be able to detect change in species presence.
  • Educate and informing citizens on species present in Bahrain through making information and data accessible online.
  • Enable citizens to independently log data regardless of their location in Bahrain.
  • Promote partnership between all stakeholders including  scientists, experts, government and members of the public.

The program in its current form is based on an app called iNaturalist which serves as an online social network that enables people to share biodiversity information. By allowing users to upload photographic observations of flora and fauna, it also acts as ‘a crowd sourced species identification system and organism occurrence tool’ thereby generating scientifically valuable biodiversity data. It is supported by a number of international institutions including the IUCN and National Geographic’s Great Nature Project.

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A screenshot of an observation recorded in Bahrain taken from the iNaturalist website

Participants trying-out the iNaturalist app during a guided walk of the Bahrain Fort surrounding agricultural lands

Participants trying-out the iNaturalist app during a guided walk of the Bahrain Fort surrounding agricultural lands