Currently, formal legal mechanisms are not widely used by data stewards who collect, use, and share community-generated environmental data. There are often barriers to their application: since these tools are still emerging and newly used in this space, there are not many case studies to learn from, or tools to spur collaboration. It can be costly to hire legal support, and without examples of existing proofs of concept, it can be difficult to justify the financial cost.
Yet the applications of legal mechanisms could be hugely beneficial for projects using and sharing community-generated environmental data. These legal mechanisms and tools can support safer and easier sharing of data, which in turn, could support movement toward advocacy, research, or sensemaking goals.
This list is designed to facilitate the start of conversations between stakeholders in any community science or data project about the use of legal mechanisms to support environmental data sharing. This list is also designed for data projects who want to reflect on if and how to use legal mechanisms to support data sharing and management.