Working Group 2 Meeting November 2018

Strengthening the link between IAS apps data and policy:  Development of an appropriate governance framework

Where: European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy

When: 20-21 of November 2018

Tackling Invasive Alien Species (IAS) requires accurate, detailed, and timely information on their occurrences and distribution. The development of new technologies such as smartphone applications (apps) can support the generation of georeferenced records of IAS, which, once validated, can complement professional observation schemes and return useful data for early warning, rapid response programs and management schemes. In some countries, in particular the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands, Citizen Science (CS) contributions are already well integrated into the national IAS surveillance systems, while several other EU countries have not yet build that capacity, or are only now planning to do so. 

With the view to support IAS reporting of Union concern (EU Regulation 1143/2014), the JRC has developed a dedicated smartphone app called “Invasive Alien Species Europe”. This app comes with an underlying data management and validation infrastructure that allow the uptake of the retrieved information in the European Alien Species Information Network (EASIN), which makes the information accessible to the relevant policy making at European level. Given the existence of multiple complementary solutions, we are now in a good position to take stock and to shape the way ahead. 

Especially to understand the potentials for using the Invasive Alien Species Europe App and related services, a specific short survey was addressed to national competent authorities and research organizations. The outcomes highlighted several concerns hindering the utilization of the App, but also the need to ensure collaboration and coherence among existing CS initiates on IAS - especially related to aspects of data flows, management and validation. These concerns relate also to the activities planned to be organised in WG 2 (Approaches to CS) and 3 (Data management and standards) of the recently approved COST Action Alien- CSI.

Accordingly, this workshop brings together national Competent Authorities responsible for the EU Regulation on IAS, researchers, representatives of LIFE programmes and other relevant projects to contribute to addressing the concerns identified with the ultimate goal of strengthening the link between IAS apps data and policy.

At this workshop we would like to discuss the following issues:

  • IAS data flows from multiple sources and possibilities for coordination
  • Validation of CS observations, including role of photo recognition tools
  • Technical features of the IAS Europe app pointed as hindrance to its use

Outcomes and deliverables: 

  • A first map of Citizen Science data flows and coordination framework for IAS across Europe 
  • Recommendations to improve interoperability and coordination between existing initiatives, incl. definition of potential roles of IAS Europe app in IAS monitoring at national level.
  • Agreement on testing of possible technical and organizational setting with several Member States.

Event Date: 

Tuesday, 20 November, 2018 - 09:00 to Wednesday, 21 November, 2018 - 17:00


European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy