Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
The Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) is the Flemish research and knowledge centre on biodiversity and its sustainable management and use. INBO conducts research and supplies knowledge to all who prepare or make biodiversity related policies or are interested in them. Besides generating new scientific insights, INBO also gathers, reviews and disseminates existing knowledge and promotes knowledge transfer.
The INBO research agenda places strong emphasis on citizen science for biodiversity and environmental monitoring in Flanders. Examples of monitoring strategies that involve the public in the application of uniform monitoring protocols are wildlife camera trapping networks, crowdsourcing, automation of data processing, runinng bioblitzes for invasive species, faunistic surveys etc. Citizen science is an important part of INBO's activities and projects. Examples of projects include the monitoring of invasive Asian hornets using beekeepers and the public (Vespa-Watch), early warning for alien species via citizen science, the monitoring of stag beetle, red listing with naturalist data. The institute is an active partner in the COST project AlienCSI CA17122 Increasing understanding of alien species through citizen science (https://alien-csi.eu).
The mobilization of citizen science data through open data publication using repeatable, open workflows is a core activity at the institute. INBO is a member of INVASIVESNET (www.invasivesnet.org), an association that also wants to strengthen citizen science as part of a strategy around invasive species . INBO is a member of ECSA and actively involved in the Scivil (Flemish knowledge centre for Citizen Science) network (www.scivil.be). INBO strongly believes inclusive citizen science promotes sustainability, increases the legitimacy of science and leads to better decision making. INBO is a strong advocate of open science and open data to help achieve this.