COBWEB leveraged the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). Concentrating initially on the Welsh Dyfi Biosphere Reserve, the project developed a citizens’ observatory framework, validating the work within the context of the Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) community and within the WNBR; specifically, within Greek and German Reserves. The infrastructure developed exploits technological developments in ubiquitous mobile devices, crowd-sourcing of geographic information and the operationalising of standards based SDI. It enables citizens to collect environmental information on a range of parameters including species distribution, flooding and land cover/use. A main driver was the opportunity to participate in environmental governance. Data quality issues were addressed by using networks of “people as sensors” and by analysing observations and measurements in real-time combination with authoritative models and datasets. The citizen’s observatory framework integrates with evolving INSPIRE compliant national SDI’s and allow the fusion of citizen sourced data with reference data from public authorities in support of policy objectives. To maximise impact, COBWEB worked within the processes of the standards defining organisations. Specifically, we improved the usability of Sensor Web Enablement standards with mobile devices and developed widespread acceptance of the data quality measures we developed. The end result was a toolkit and a set of models that demonstrably works in different European countries. The implementation of COBWEB is a model for how technology may be used to empower citizen associations in environmental decision making.