Data and Safety Policy

How we use your data in our research

Please take the time to read the information below carefully regarding your involvement in the Tiny Forest project and Earthwatch use of your data.

You can contact the Tiny Forest team at any time (before, during and after your involvement) to ask questions, get more information, or for other clarification at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What’s involved?

By registering an account on the Tiny Forest Portal you will have access to scientific surveys and a forum space. Completing these surveys and submitting your data is optional. You may choose to participate in none, one or several of them.

There is no planned end date for the Tiny Forest monitoring programme. Your level and length of involvement is entirely up to you. You are free to decide whether or not to take part and may withdraw from Tiny Forest at any time.

The Tiny Forest team

Tiny Forest is a programme operated by Earthwatch Europe.

The researchers overseeing the project (as of February 2022) are:

  • Dr Toos van Noordwijk
  • Dr Victor Beumer
  • Dr Daniel Hayhow
  • Dr Macarena Cardenas

You can contact the Tiny Forest team by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Risks of involvement

Any activity has possible risks associated with it. The citizen science monitoring activities in Tiny Forest may cause all, some, or none of the risks listed. Unknown or unexpected risks may also occur.

Risks include but are not limited to:

  • Adverse weather conditions including strong sun/hot weather
  • Injury (eg from slipping, tripping etc)
  • Rashes/reactions/stings/scratches/bites from plants and wildlife
  • Working near water – drowning or Weils’ disease
  • Falling tree branches.

Participation in Tiny Forest is at your own risk.

You are responsible for reading the safety instructions provided for activities in the field.

How we will capture, manage and use your data

Taking part in Tiny Forest will involve collecting personal information about you. The sources of this data are: survey data (performed online or on paper) and Tiny Forest portal registration data.

This information will be protected in the following ways:

  • All data is stored on secure systems.
  • Registration data will only be stored on Earthwatch Europe’s internal systems and our Amazon Cloud server.
  • Only Earthwatch Europe staff will have access to your raw data.
  • Any change to these systems will always be secure and GDPR compliant in order to protect your privacy.

Data is intended to inform environmental management advice, policy, and engagement practices. As such:

  • Data that you provide will be held by Earthwatch and shared with external researchers and Tiny Forest partner organisations when appropriate and governed by legally binding agreements that protect participant anonymity.
  • Anonymised data will be shared with open repositories allowing other conservation organisations and researchers to use the data in their own analyses.
  • Anonymised data may also be shared with participants to perform their own analyses.

Upon withdrawing from Earthwatch, if you have not requested to be forgotten, we may re-contact you to request your participation in follow-up studies or other Earthwatch programmes.

Earthwatch Europe is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy and holding your personal information in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation. Read our full privacy policy at

Your rights

You can withdraw from Earthwatch at any time, without penalty by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

You have the right to:

  • A copy of the information we hold about you
  • Withdraw consent at any time
  • Change your personal information
  • Request the deletion or removal of your personal information in certain circumstances, including where it is no longer necessary for us to hold it for the purposes for which we are processing it
  • Restrict our processing of your data if there is disagreement about its accuracy or legitimate usage
  • Move, copy or transfer your personal information easily and safely from one IT environment to another, in some circumstances
  • Object to processing based on legitimate interests.

Please note that these rights are not exercisable in all circumstances e.g. personal data may not have to be erased if it is needed in the interests of public health, or to support legal claims, compliance and scientific or historical research.

You can enact these rights by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and providing us with your full name, the projects that you have been involved in with us, and the action you would like to take.

Earthwatch Europe’s rights

Participant accounts may be terminated if the participant persistently or severely breaches Earthwatch’s Terms of Use, which include but are not limited to:

  • Posting of obscene or offensive language or material
  • Posting defamatory, abusive, discriminatory or hateful material or applauding or encouraging such material
  • Posting confidential material/private information.

Participants will be informed before such action is taken.

Reporting concerns

If you have questions about your rights, or you want to make sure this is a valid study, you may contact the Earthwatch Ethics Committee. The Earthwatch Ethics Committee is comprised of internal and external members of staff and all projects are assessed by members not associated with the project. This is the Committee that is responsible for overseeing the safety of all Tiny Forest participants. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have questions, complaints or concerns about the study or if you would like to obtain information or offer input.

Participant Consent

By submitting data as part of Tiny Forest I agree to the following.

Taking part in the project

  1. I have read and understood the above information, or it has been read to me. I have been able to ask questions about Tiny Forest and my questions have been satisfactorily answered.
  2. I consent voluntarily to be a participant in Tiny Forest and understand that I can refuse to answer questions and I can withdraw from the study at any time, without having to give a reason. I do this by informing the Tiny Forest team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  3. I understand that taking part in Tiny Forest requires me to provide data and that this may involve taking part in online or paper surveys.

Use of my data in the project

  1. I understand that data which can identify me will only be shared beyond the Earthwatch team where absolutely necessary for research purposes and governed by strict confidentiality agreements that protect my anonymity.
  2. I agree that the data provided by me may be used for the following purposes:
    1. Presentation and discussion of the project and its results in research activities (e.g. project meetings, conferences)
    2. Publications and reports describing the project and its results
    3. Dissemination of the project and its results, including publication of data on web pages and databases.

Reuse of my data

  1. I give permission for the data that I provide to be reused for the sole purposes of future research and learning.
  2. I understand and agree that this may involve depositing my data in a data repository, which may be accessed by other researchers.

Security of my data

  1. I understand that safeguards will be put in place to protect my identity and my data during the research, and if my data is kept for future use.
  2. I confirm that I have been described these safeguards, told how to relocate them on the Tiny Forest website, and that they are acceptable to me.
  3. I understand that no computer system is completely secure but all practicable steps will be taken to protect my data and my anonymity.


I give permission for data gathered during this project to be used, copied, excerpted, annotated, displayed and distributed for the purposes to which I have consented.

Earthwatch reserve the right to update this Policy. You will be notified of any material changes.

© 2018 Earthwatch Institute. All rights reserved. Earthwatch Institute (Europe) is a registered charity in England and Wales, no. 1094467.