The Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi (EAD) and Emirates Nature-WWF announced the launch of a comprehensive citizen science programme, under the name Sahim. The programme will engage volunteers and harness large-scale public participation in a series of projects that address real-world environmental problems, in ways that include formulating research questions, collecting and analysing data, interpreting results, and making new discoveries.

Citizen Science is a way to contribute to real science and act for the environment while learning something new directly from scientists. It brings everyone into the important work of learning more about and protecting our planet. Volunteers and scientists work together to answer real-world questions.

Sahim’s approach serves the dual purpose of gathering useful data to support decision-making and the opportunity to engage the community in a meaningful way to participate in environmental causes they care about; therefore, translating awareness and advocacy into meaningful action with tangible and far-reaching impacts.

Enabling public participation in data gathering means a larger volume of valuable data can be collected, much of which can be conducted close to home, sometimes in backyards or even in living rooms and kitchens, with guidance from professional scientists and using established protocols and tools.

Citizen science brings everyone into the important work of exploring and protecting our planet. Volunteers and scientists work together to answer real-world questions. Key projects over the next 12 months, under the umbrella of Sahim, include:

• Waste collection and analysis from marine, coastal or terrestrial sites

• Using cameras to identify and monitor terrestrial wildlife

• Monitoring mangrove forests and their associated species

• Suaalif ‘ajdadina Program which sees volunteers conduct interviews to gather oral history and traditional knowledge about the historical state of the environment in the UAE

People of all ages across the community – youth, parents, corporate and government employees – can volunteer on a diverse portfolio of projects, with rigorous citizen science principles, that contribute towards the UAE’s environmental goals. The public can find out more by visiting https://connectwithnature.ae/sahim-x-citizen-science and detailed information on volunteering opportunities at environmental projects, under the umbrella of Sahim, will also be available through volunteers.ae