Name of the organization/project in the original language:
Name of the organization/project in English:
Please select the type of your organization/project:
Please indicate the mandate/goals/activities of your organization/project.:
Greenhouse is an environmental NGO comprised of scientists and artists that seek to train, build awareness in and engage with Malta’s citizens.
We believe that, to galvanize change, scientific inquiry must be communicated to everyone, regardless of age or background. In keeping with this idea, we work with artists to create shows, workshops and public talks designed to explain complex ideas and findings in a way that is educational, easy-to-digest and increase chances of initiating positive behavior change.
Our collective goal is to inform evidence-based policy so that the species we work with are legally protected and that those protections are enforced. We want to equip the ERA with robustly gathered data to better safeguard Malta’s heritage, ODZ land and other natural areas. However, a lot of our research cannot be done without the help of volunteers who are trained to collect data, conduct experiments and aid us in the execution of projects. We are a group of like-minded individuals who believe that everyone can be a scientist; it just takes some willingness to listen to what the world around us has to say.
Green House started out as a student organisation focused on animal’s rights and sustainable living in the University of Malta. It was founded in 2008 and recognized by the UOM Senate in 2009. Now, it engages in:
· Citizen science
· Collaboration with specialists to carry out workshops on topics related to research
· Quantitative and qualitative research on flora and fauna, as well as vulnerable social groups
· Petition writing and reporting of new developments that affect our environment
· Red listing of species in Malta to guide conservation activities of the Government
· Collaboration with artists to enhance the way we communicate research and inform the public on conservation issues
How are you performing research on Citizen Science, taking part in Citizen Science activities and/or supporting Citizen Science?:
Green House organises citizen science driven research projects that ensure the long-term survey of orchids and bats
found in the Maltese islands. By learning about the distribution and populations we want to inform the public, reserve
managers, the environmental authority and policy makers of the conservation status of these species. Furthermore, we organise temporary citizen science outreaches in collaboration with other local environmental NGOs and we also
organise International exchanges with our partner organisations. Work is ongoing to open similar research
programmes for other species found in the Maltese islands that provide information on state of those species and
Our citizen science programme operate on an annual cycle where before the surveying period trainings are organised
on the islands of Malta and Gozo to ensure that all volunteers have the necessary tools to take part in the research
process. Where possible, we work with individual volunteers to take a more active role in the overall research
programme to develop their skills and improve their experience. Throughout our communication strategies for these
programmes we always communicate the importance of active citizenship and the citizen scientists contribution to the
research projects and often our volunteers offer us their testimonials or help to better the impact of our outreach
Name of Citizen Science Project:
Wild4Orchids and Akustika - National Survey of Maltese Bat Species
Brief description of project:
The Maltese islands are home to approximately 36 different species of orchids, most of which are endemic and/or
threatened. Under the Environment and Protection Agency orchids are legally protected, like many flora and fauna.
However, there is no ongoing monitoring system to map out species distribution and observe changes in population
dynamics. This insufficient data makes it difficult to classify which orchid species are threatened and/or facing
extinction and what conservation efforts can be applied to help curb such threats. Hence, Green House, in
collaboration with the Belgian organisation BINCO designed Wild4Orchids to help fill in these knowledge gaps by
establishing an ongoing monitoring scheme for orchid species across the Maltese Islands.
The ongoing monitoring scheme was launched in February 2017. It was led by BINCO and Green House members
along with local orchid enthusiasts who are experts in the field in their own right. Every year since the monitoring
scheme has run from February through April, recruiting citizen scientists each year to help collect data. Each
interested participant is trained to collect data in a standardised manner through grid surveys across the Maltese
islands. The data is uploaded to a database where it is then verified by two local specialists. The verified data will
then be used to update the local Red data list and help guide future policy. With the current data at hand
Wild4Orchids was able to contribute towards the publication of a book about orchids founds across the Maltese
islands. Future activities included repeated studies that will be carried out by our citizens scientists to observe
population changes overtime.
Wild4Orchids is part of the Malta Biodiversity monitoring network (MABIMO) and is a collaboration effort between
Green House (Malta) and BINCO (Belgium), along with the help of ECOGOZO (Malta). All relevant activities are held
under permit by Malta’s Environment and Resources Authority.
Akustika is designed to fill the knowledge gaps on local bat species in Malta and Gozo and set the first steps towards
gaining a national overview of what bat species are present, their distribution and status in 2018 and 2019. This in
turn will encourage authorities to consider bats in large-scale land development, including restoration works. The
project will address this by contributing to the scientific knowledge of these species through standardised, publicly-
accessible methods which will allow repeated surveys over the years and within different habitats, supporting future
research into these areas, and presenting bat ecology as a valuable research activity. Since its launch in late August
2018, Akustika has already had its first research activity. Mist netting was carried out across the Maltese islands for
two weeks in September, led by experts in the field from the Belgian organisation BINCO with the help of around 50
recruited citizen scientists. Following the first scientific endeavour, the project has successfully launched its urban bat
surveys, with an uptake of around 25 individuals who conducted grid surveys in urban areas in October. Upcoming
activities include repeat urban surveys in Spring, Summer and Autumn 2019, along with several trials of innovative
citizen science methodology for the collection of data on a wider variety of species and habitats of the Maltese
islands. The main focus of the project will be bio-acoustics, a technique where the echolocation calls of bats can be
recorded and studied to identify the species encountered - however a variety of research methodologies related to
bat research will be trialled for the inclusion of citizen science elements as a core source of data collection.
Akustika is part of the Malta Biodiversity monitoring network (MABIMO) and is a collaborative effort between Green
House (Malta,, BINCO (Belgium), SWILD (Switzerland), the Malta Natural History Museum, Malta Bat Conservation
Society and David Dodds Associates (Scotland). All relevant activities are held under permit by Malta’s Environment
and Resources Authority.
Please indicate the approximate geographical scale of the project.: