There are growing needs to broaden and deepen our multi-faceted understanding of the ecosystems. Therefore, the International Long-Term Ecological Research Network (ILTER) was established in 1993 as a global network of field research sites and scientists to address current ecological issues in a globally changing environment, e.g., biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. In 1995, the ILTER East Asia-Pacific Regional Network (ILTER-EAP) was established as one of the four regional networks that comprise ILTER. ILTER-EAP has been developed to promote data sharing, research collaborations and capability building in the science and to bridge gaps between societal needs and scientific imperatives on concerns in the Asia-Pacific Region from long-term perspectives. Currently, ILTER-EAP consists of eight formal ILTER members (Thailand ILTER, Chinese Ecosystem Research Network, Korea LTER Network, Taiwan Ecological Research Network, Japan LTER Network, Philippines LTER Network, Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network of Australia, and Malaysia LTER Network) and three associate networks (Lao PDR LTER Network, Mongolian LTER Network and Vietnam LTER Network). There are over 160 sites across the EAP regions, and a few thousands of scientists are involved in the ILTER-EAP. Thus, regional research questions were identified that can be better tackled with common research platform, integrated data management system and the network science, which is open to all interested parties.

Nevertheless, long-term ecological and social data monitoring requires sound data collection over large temporal and spatial scales in order to inform policy and conservation management. To meet effectively collective obligations towards biodiversity conservation and monitoring, citizen or community science programs, can make valuable contributions to data collection and analyses. Moreover, citizen science has potential in some or all aspects of environmental assessments.

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INTRODUCTION

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