IUCN Oceania welcomes new Member - Earthwatch Institute (Australia)

14 July 2014 | News story

Earthwatch Institute (Australia) is our newest Member in the IUCN Oceania region. Earthwatch was one of the 11 new Members approved by the IUCN Council, following the decision of its Bureau on 2 July 2014.

Earthwatch Institute is an environmental not-for-profit organization that engages people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Best known for its citizen science approach of partnering volunteers with research scientists to support field-based research, Earthwatch expeditions provide volunteers from all sections of society, including youth, the opportunity to contribute to actual scientific research. Through the process of hands-on contact with nature and research science, volunteers engage in sustainability and develop a true understanding of environmental issues, specifically in four priority research areas: oceans, ecosystems, cultural heritage and climate change.

In the past three years, Earthwatch Institute has achieved success in supporting and delivering 12 citizen science programs – one of which is ClimateWatch. The ClimateWatch program aims to understand the impacts of climate change on the earth's natural processes, through the establishment of a national phenology program. The community collects data by observing and recording the timing of periodic events in nature and then records the events on the ClimateWatch website or mobile application. The program provides scientists with the large-scale, long-term data needed to understand how Australia’s plants and animals respond to a changing climate. In the past three years, the program has engaged 10,000 volunteers who have contributed close to 50,000 records to the online database. The program also partners with 10 universities, national parks and education centres through the establishment of ClimateWatch trails.

For more information on new members, existing IUCN Members can use the IUCN Member and people searches on the Union Portal to connect with this new Member.