The I-CHANGE project deals with the challenge of engaging and promoting the active participation of citizens to address climate change, sustainable development and environmental protection in the framework of the European Green Deal, the European Climate Pact and the European Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. The project addresses through a multi-disciplinary and participatory approach the environment and climate challenges from two perspectives:

  • Empowerment through knowledge acquired through hands-on participation in the monitoring and assessment.
  • Understanding the role and the impact of individual choices in the daily life and its consequences on the environment.

The aim is to engage citizens concretely in the collection of environmental and socio-economic data, through co-designed and personalized tools such as new apps and friendly yet reliable devices. This is complemented by the dialogue with several stakeholders in which the citizen participates in the codesign, co-development as well as in implementation of sustainable solutions being evaluated according to the local needs. This framework for engaging citizens in the monitoring of adverse meteorological conditions, high temperature and air pollution, and by quantifying carbon and environmental footprint within tangible and realistic urban contexts is called a Living Labs (LLs). The LLs of West Africa (LLWA – Ouagadougou among 8 of which 6 European cities and Jerusalem in Israel) is coordinated and implemented by WASCAL among 16 partners in 12 countries. Through participation and pro-active engagement in the learning path, the project promotes behavioural change towards more sustainable patterns. For the LLWA the focus in on climate and environment issues such as Heavy rain events and urban floods watch and waste management.

Project indicatorSummary of results
Objectives of the ProjectRaise of environmental awareness through citizen science and understanding of the science behind climate change and its effectsEmpowerment of citizens and consumers with tools to monitor their impact and give targeted advicesImprovement of data availability, interoperability and usability at a broad scaleEnhancement of the level of civic engagement in climate issues for developing sustainable lifestyles consumption patterns Examples for effectiveness behavioural changes and good social practices based on robust scientific methodology 
Expected impacts of ProjectThe development or strengthening of citizen science initiatives to engage citizens in the active collection of environmental and socio-economic data through individual new or improved devices The provision of personalized information to citizens and consumers about their environmental impact Better monitoring of the environment (land, sea, air, etc.).Behavioural change processes on the part of citizens, consumers and communities
Mitigation to climate changeImprove climate change awareness by promoting the knowledge of science and the understanding of physical, socio-economic and cultural processes, to bring citizens to be engaged in the actions toward climate neutrality. Through the active participation in the data collection and processing, citizens will be equipped with novel or improved practical and concrete tools to improve their knowledge about environment and climate, and to enhance the adaptation of personal behaviour and consumptions in view of positive climate action, sustainable development and environmental protection
Adaptation technologyIncrease the preparedness and facilitate resilience of local communities to climate extreme events by offering Customized Climate information service; bins for sorting waste from home have been available for households involved in the LLWA; Installation and basic maintenance of bioenergy sources (biodigesters, ) is mastered among community; young entrepreneurs are trained for elaboration of sustainability business models on land-based circular economy
Capacity buildingSustainable capacity building will be undertaken in the communities with women’s cooperatives, young entrepreneurs, market gardeners/tree nursery, and policy makers on environment and climate issues

WASCAL  Contact : Dr. Seyni Salack   (salack.s@wascal.org)