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Articulating Biocultural Values in Bird Conservation Networks from Local to Global: A Paraguayan Case

PI: Dr Felice Wyndham, Research Fellow, University of Oxford

Abstract
Our proposed research explores the ways ecological knowledge systems are articulated from local, lifeworld- and place-based experience to national, regional, and international levels of policy and practice. This project brings together anthropologists, linguists, biologists, and conservation policy scientists. We will complete a case study of linguistic and cultural values in Paraguayan bird conservation, via a focussed ecolinguistic ethnography with Ayoreo and Yshir communities in the northeastern Chaco region. We compare findings with similar projects in Panamá and Guyana to explore the role of language, creative humanities, and indigenous expertise in ecology, conservation and development. Our results will contribute to ongoing policy, scholarly, and educational conversations in Paraguay, regionally, and internationally. A key contribution will be the creation of a lasting communication pathway for language and cultural values to enter policy conversations at the highest levels by bridging between the Ethno-ornithology World Archive (EWA) and World Bird Databases (WBDB) at BirdLife.

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