Echoversity – an innovative participatory biodiversity conservation project
“Echoversity” is a project led by EcoMuseum Zagori, in response to ACCTING’s call for pilots Wild Eyes – Biodiversity crisis knowledge. This call supports citizen science engagement and awareness campaigns encouraging participants to collect evidence of biodiversity change and preparing fact-based solutions that are positive to biodiversity.
EcoMuseum Zagori (EMZ) promotes sustainability and the conservation of the protected areas in Zagori, Greece. The Zagori region is a border mountainous territory in Northwestern Greece attracting more than 30.000 visitors each year. With two National Parks, the area of Zagori hosts more than 2,000 rare species and subspecies of flora and fauna. This pilot project will focus on the conservation and protection of both the alpine meadows and pastures of the area and their valuable ecosystem services.
The project aims to record the biodiversity of the forage trails of Zagori, with the active contribution of the local community. It will involve innovative soundscape applications for the mapping and conservation of biodiversity, with the participation of citizens, in the pastoral routes of Zagori. Participants detect, record, and discuss the conservation and management of the ecosystem of local pastures.
With Echoversity, the EMZ aims to connect the landscape with the community and the tangible and intangible cultural heritage, bringing together scientists and local stakeholders, establishing the development of collaborative action relationships that will aim both to record and preserve biodiversity, and to educate and raise awareness among farmers for the sustainable conservation of local habitats.
The project will offer a combination of scientific and social activities:
- three field training workshops on biodiversity inventory, monitoring and management, targeting local stakeholders and interested parties, with a focus on mobile livestock farmers
- the recording and mapping of the biodiversity of Zagori through Bio-Blitz workshops and Sound Walks
- the identification and mapping of ecosystem services in the field
- the identification of the cultural identity of the nomadic pastoralists
- Educational Programme for Children on the paths of transhumance and biodiversity
- Mobile photo exhibition inspired by the local biodiversity and its connection to the transhumance routes,
- creation of products from pastoral women
By directly involving citizens and the scientifc community and using partners’ existing networks, the project aspires to raise awareness on the marginalised community of pastoral breeders on the one hand and the local argifood and agrotourism on the other. Special focus will be given to women pastoralists and young generations who want to get involved with transhumance as a tourism product.
At the end of the project, the Biodiversity Database and Map, the exhibition material, and the products made by pastoral women will be maintained by EMZ, which will be responsible for their continuous dissemination, utilisation and updating.