Principal Investigator: Dr Andrew G. Gosler, University Research Lecturer in Ornithology & Conservation, Oxford UniversityCo-investigators: Mr David Nathan, former Director of the Endangered Languages Archive, SOAS, London.Collaborators: Dr John Fanshawe, Birdlife International, Cambridge, UK; Dr Josep del Hoyo, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.Duration: From 2013 to 2015
Birds inspire people, their cultures, and their faiths, whilst also acting as important environmental indicators. Many people possess knowledge of birds that is rooted in a cultural, rather than in a scientific, context. This knowledge is largely undocumented, but is no less valid than scientific knowledge. Being able to share that knowledge can inspire and empower communities through the realisation that their knowledge, and birds, are important to others.
EWA establishes a new paradigm in bird conservation. Working with Project Partner Birdlife International, the largest conservation collaborative in the world working in 126 countries, the EWA project will promote the engagement of all people in bird conservation by sharing their knowledge and understanding of birds, and helping to safeguard cultural identities. EWA is founded on the recognition that humans everywhere are inspired culturally, practically and spiritually by birds.
EWA will collect culturally relevant knowledge of birds, including local and traditional ecological knowledge, and share this globally via the internet and other media. EWA will engage with indigenous people, local communities, conservationists and academics, and their institutions, to promote bird conservation through the recognition, affirmation and celebration of traditional and contemporary knowledge, and the environmental stewardship ethic inherent within diverse cultural traditions.