IAS Europe app: engaging citizens in alien species surveillance

IAS Europe app: engaging citizens in alien species surveillance

Ana Cristina Cardoso
Main Organisation
Other Organisations


Tackling Invasive Alien Species (IAS) requires accurate and timely information on IAS distribution for early detection and rapid response. Citizen Science (CS) is seen as essential to ensure the spatial and temporal resolution of data capture. The JRC has developed a smartphone app called “Invasive Alien Species in Europe”, allowing users to report the presence of IAS of Union concern. The goal is to promote the uptake of the IAS EU app as a tool in the IAS surveillance in Europe, ensuring the link to the EC official information system (EASIN) and the reuse of the data at EU level. 

Participation Spectrum

When and Where

Start Year

Policy Context

Policy Stage
Context of activity
The frame is provided by a Regulation
Science or Policy Field
Specific Topic
EU Regulation on Invasive Alien Species/ Biological Invasions.


Who was involved
Communities or representatives involved
Competent authorities and through these EU citizens. The Danube testing engaged scientists, students, environmental governmental organisations, non-governamental organisations, public companies, local fishermen and hunters.
How were the Participants selected?


Tools Used


Main Outcomes and Lasting Achievement
EASIN Citizen Science web page, linking to MS CS initiatives on alien species (AS), training material on AS, communication and impact on Twitter & Facebook; updating the IAS APP (http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEX-17-345_en.htm); research, e.g. leading role in the COST Action Alien-CSI.
How were the outcome taken up within the process they were carried out?
Communication from the Commission {COM (2017) 198 final} Commission Staff Working Document. A new dedicated COST Action (CA17122). A JRC proof of concept project "IAS Europe app: engaging citizens in alien species surveillance".
Feedback provided
Other Feedback
Through the EASIN web site, CS platform and dedicated events.
Were the methodologies used elsewhere?
On-going engagement with interested organisations with the aim of adopting, using and tailoring the IAS app tool.


Reason for such challenges and solutions
Addressing broad European audience requires considerable resources- cross Unit collaboration/ Proof of concept funding; overcoming language barriers/ support for translation/ translated into EN, DE,IT, SP, soon in RO; identifying governance at EU an national level/ WS in November 2018 engaging national competent authorities.
Lessons Learn
Require continuous resources for continuous updates, development, and engagement with relevant scientific, technical and policy communities. It require multidisciplinary, required integration of additional competences. The first results indicate that citizen are willing to contribute and their data can complement official national surveillance.
To clear identify the mandate to avoid conflict/ overlaps with national initiatives. From early stages of a project, involving/ collaborate with national initiatives.