BC Local Environmental Observer (LEO) Network


About LEO • Join LEO! • LEO Network Features • Project Partners

​​​​​​Ab​​​out LEO

The FNHA is launching the Local Environmental Observer (LEO) Network in BC to raise awareness about unusual environmental changes within Indigenous communities and lands and identify healthy and effective ways to address and adapt to those changes.

LEO “observers" (members) can connect with experts such as Indigenous Traditional knowledge holders and scientists through the network to integrate Indigenous, local and scientific knowledge. Observers can also share information with one another to help build informed connections.

The LEO Network is also a resource that can act as a tool in the toolbox used to explore climate change and environmental health in BC. For example, it can be used to complement other existing surveillance and monitoring efforts in BC, such as the WATCH Project.

Join LEO!

To learn more about the LEO Network and how to become a member, visit the LEO Network website. On the site, you can read all about LEO and browse LEO publications. You can join LEO as an individual observer. Once you have created an account, you will be able to read and post observations.

LEO Network in BC Implem​entation

A goal of the LEO Network in BC is to integrate local First Nations perspectives into observations in order to communicate environmental changes. This platform will support the efforts in sharing Traditional knowledge, revitalizing cultural practices and learning from those on the land and waters. Other knowledge systems such as Western scientific knowledge will also be included to support efforts related to addressing environmental changes.  

The aims of the LEO Network in BC are to:

  • grow the LEO Network membership base to include First Nations communities in BC with a focus on individual observers
  • create a culturally safe space for two-way information sharing at all levels
  • integrate First Nations in BC environmental health and wellness perspectives into platform materials

The LEO Network in BC will also aim to host events and develop materials that highlight climate change and unusual environmental events that occur in BC, for example:

  • virtual gatherings – inclusive spaces to learn about LEO observations and various topics related to climate change and environmental health
  • newsletters – emerging LEO observations, environmental health trends and news, community stories, wise practices and Traditional Knowledge
  • The LEO Network in BC will also develop involvement and partnership opportunities for individuals who are interested in climate change and environmental health to become observers or knowledge experts.

LEO Netw​​ork Features

The LEO Network features a global map and data interface accessible through the website. It allows viewers to read refined stories that include initial observations, input of experts, photos and video. The website interface includes an interactive map, a search engine to explore the LEO observation and news article databases and updates from the network. For more about how the LEO works, see Learn about LEO.

Observations of unusual environmental changes are posted on an online map-based database with descriptions, photos, video and audio information. Scientific and Indigenous knowledge experts can then review observations and verify, interpret or respond with additional information and links that relate to the topic.

Indigenous experts can monitor LEO observations locally and regionally, provide consultation and act as local points-of-contact. First Nations environmental managers, natural resources staff and other observers can participate in all capacities of the network. A network of scientific and technical experts provides the Western scientific component. They can be located in government agencies, academic institutions, or organizations with topic expertise.

Over time, observations can provide valuable information to identify emerging trends in ecosystems and human well-being. In Alaska, the LEO Network has grown to include up to 1500 participants, hundreds of communities and institutions and is already highlighting climate change effects and potential adaption approaches.​​

Project Pa​rtners

The LEO Network in BC is a project of FNHA's Environmental Public Health Services (EPHS) and a partnership with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC).