The Local Environmental Observer (LEO) Network allows citizens to document unusual environmental events around them with a simple app. This information is then relayed to experts and helps monitor climate change and plan adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Our climate is changing due to human activity, and this change does not just simply translate into an increase of average temperatures around the world. Climate change can lead to forest fires and droughts in some parts of the world, and floods in others. In addition to extreme weather events, changes can be observed in animal and plants as they struggle to adapt to new conditions.
Arctic nations are particularly affected by climate change. It is therefore not surprising that the Local Environmental Observer (LEO) Network originated in Alaska. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) launched the LEO Network in 2012. Their goal was to foster the exchange of information on climate change and other environmental pressures. ANTHC collaborated with Resource Data Inc. to develop the LEO App and take the network to the next level by facilitating interaction between stakeholders.
What started as an Alaskan initiative has now gone through international borders. The Commission for Environmental Cooperation – the environmental organization tied to the North American Free Trade Agreement – is currently working to expand the network to the rest of the USA, Canada and Mexico. In addition to helping document the effect of climate change in North America, LEO Network is expected to help the three countries develop strategies for mitigation and adaptation.
Concerned citizens can sign up on the LEO Network website and use the LEO Reporter App to document unusual environmental events. The app allows for quick and intuitive documentation and characterization of the unusual event they have witnessed.
The LEO Reporter Mobile App is available on the App Store and Google Play. If you wish to become “the eyes, ears and voice of our changing environment”, join the community and help monitor our changing planet.