Science done by citizens | Lim Pilot Project
With the increased construction and development of Hydro Power Plants (HPPs) in the Lim valley, the natural ecosystem and communities are at risk, thereby leading to the loss of vital biodiversity and the livelihood of the local citizens. Furthermore, the loss of the natural surroundings will also lead to the destruction of recreational activities such as river rafting, kayaking etc. that is dependent on the Lim River, which would result in the further loss of income.
As a result, to scientifically support the notion and widespread understanding of the destruction the HPPs can cause to the region, adequate data collection and analysis is required, which in turn could lead to equipping the local citizens in presenting a strong counter proposal to governmental agencies and HPP developers. Further, the naturalness of the river can be emphasized while promoting eco friendly activities.
The main goal of this project is to test and develop citizen science tools for a rapid assessment of natural and recreational values of the valley.
Secondary goals of the project will be to:
- Raise awareness: Our aim is to raise awareness to local people about the natural values of the Lim valley, and essential services that it provides. We want to develop the ownership of the river and empower them to be active actors in preservation and celebration of the river.
- Challenge decision makers: the collected data will be used as a tool to challenge and make aware the decision makers about the negative impacts of HPP-s.
The project concept involves the participation of the local citizens of the Lim Valley including school children, university students, scientists/ researchers focusing on their research in the region and finally activists who feel strongly against the further development of HPPs in the valley.
The project concept will be achieved through conducting a citizen based data collection and monitoring campaign. The activities of the projects will include:
- Collection of hydro-geomorphological and biological data of the river.
- Collection of metadata such as pictures of waste dump sites to better monitor the environmental state of the surrounding environment.
- Activities to make people aware of the negative human impacts on the river.
- Promoting water sports (Kayaking, Rafting).
- Utilising advanced machine learning based techniques to automate incoming data preprocessing and analysis to support the ease of dissemination of the information.
We aim to test the concept in the Lim Valley during the Lim Regatta next spring 2021.