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As societies constantly have to adapt to environmental challenges, data from environmental Research Infrastructures play an important role in societal decision processes. This requires a specific culture of translating the data into an interdisciplinary understanding of human-environmental systems (HES) and is called ‘environmental literacy’. This theme further develops environmental literacy and train environmental Research Infrastructures to participate in trans-disciplinary analyses and decision-making processes. It helps to develop a common voice for ENVRI community, and address common ethical problems such as data integrity and responsibility for communication of environmental knowledge. Finally, it values and strengthens participation of citizens in environmental science. Participative science is a win-win activity between environmental Research Infrastructures and the public. It raises awareness of citizens and also provides valuable data in monitoring change in the natural world. Thus, it is a key activity to increase environmental literacy. Furthermore, citizens’ connection with the scientific community not only ensures trust in the data provided by environmental Research Infrastructures but by contributing to that data, citizens are empowered by becoming involved in the scientific process.