iNaturewatch began with the implementation of the project - Mobile Apps 4 Climate Change. This prestigious project was won by Dr. V. Shubhalaxmi alongwith her 5 alumni team members at the global competition of U.S. State Departments Alumni Innovation Engagement Fund (AEIF 2014) and secured a funding of $25000 for this project. This project was partnered with NGOs such as WWF-India and Greenline. It was the only project selected for India out of 53 proposals chosen globally. The project was about development of mobile apps which could be used for climate change studies in urban ecosystems.
Mobile apps could be an effective medium for students who prefer to learn through gadgets. A citizen science programme under the title of “Urban iNaturewatch Challenge” was launched based on these apps to collect data on climate impact on common birds, butterflies and trees. This programme encouraged school students from four cities to participate in the citizen science initiative of the project.
After the successful completion of Urban iNaturewatch Challenge through citizen science programme, we slowly started engagement of urban citizens with nature. We found that with technology and urbanization advancing at a lightning speed, somewhere people are losing the connection with environment. This is how we started our monthly nature walks, online courses on gardening, kitchen gardening workshops. These small steps gave tremendous results when we saw that people liked our concept and participated enthusiastically.
This is how iNaturewatch foundation got established and is working steadily in achieving its goal.