Volunteers taking pictures of spots located behind the whale sharks' gills
22nd April is World Earth Day, and each year on this widely commemorated day, millions of us pause to review the state of our fragile earth and what more can be done to protect it. Even with the recent Paris Agreement - the treaty to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions- action on conservation and protection is still wanting. Thus I feel that this year's theme, 'Environmental and Climate Literacy', calls on citizens, corporations and governments to continue efforts to build awareness and protect the planet in quantifiable ways.
A study by scientists of the UK-based Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) and the Natural History Museum, London found that there is a significant increase in citizen science around the world. In 1970, there were just 20 ecological and environmental projects that were undertaken by citizens. By 2014 that number had shot off to 509. It seems there has been a year-on-year increase of 10 percent during the 1990s and 2000s, in the number of citizen science projects that were undertaken. What is even more heartening is that technology powered this citizen's intervention in ecology. More specifically, the increasing availability and innovative use of online databases, digital cameras and smartphones spurred this spike.