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Round-table on Citizen Science


A Round-table on the topic ‘The role of universities, scientific and state institutions for the involvement of citizens in citizen science’ was held on 27 September 2019, in Vitosha Park Hotel, Sofia, Bulgaria.


The meeting was organised by the University of Forestry in the frame of the project ‘Support for the Development of Scientific Capacity at the University of Forestry’ funded by the Science and Education for Smart Growth Operational Programme (2014–2020). The participants included scientists and governmental officers from Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia, representatives of the following organisations: University of Forestry, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Management and Knowledge Skopje, National Park Mavrovo, Vitosha National Park, Executive Forest Agency, and Executive Environment Agency in Bulgaria.


The director of the National Park Mavrovo (R. North of Macedonia) Mr Samir Ajdini presented to the participants information about the National Park and its activities towards protection of biodiversity and natural resources such as forests and water resources, as well as towards development of sustainable tourism, preserving the national cultural traditions.


The representatives of the Vitosha National Park (Bulgaria) Ms Desislava Gyurova and Mr Nikola Doikin talked about the native and alien flora and fauna on the territory of the park, as well as about the scientific and educational programmes developed and implemented as part of the park management activities. They also presented the results of implementation of certain measures directed towards limiting of the invasion of Fallopia japonica in habitat 9110 – Luzulo fagetum beech forests.


The director of the Institute of Management and Knowledge Skopje Prof. Robert Dimitrovski talked about the role of the scientific institutions to support and develop citizen science.


The Alien CSI participants gave detailed information about the citizen science related to invasive alien species and the possibilities to apply and develop such activities in the national parks (Prof. Rumen Tomov). Furthermore, information about the smartphone applications as tools of citizen science related to invasive alien species was given (Teodora Trichkova and Georgi Popgeorgiev). Two apps were presented: ‘Invasive Alien Species Europe’ developed by the EC Joint Research Centre (JRC) and ‘SmartBirdsPro’ developed by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds. Details on the contents, functionalities, and application of the apps were presented and discussed.


The Round-table participants discussed potential collaboration and possibilities for organising BioBlitz by using the ‘Invasive Alien Species Europe’ and ‘iNaturalist’ apps in the two national parks in Bulgaria and the R. North Macedonia.



See Agenda of the Round-table (In Bulgarian)  >>>


Link to the event on the website of the National Park Mavrovo:  >>>


Link to ‘Invasive Alien Species Europe’ app  >>>


Link to ‘SmartBirdsPro’  >>>


Link to ‘iNaturalist’  >>>


Information about the three smartphone applications ‘Invasive Alien Species Europe’, ‘SmartBirdsPro’ and ‘iNaturalist’ can be found in the following TV show:

Free smartphone applications for nature lovers, ‘Press F1’, Bulgarian National Television, 13.06.2019 (In Bulgarian)  >>>