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MILJØFORSK-Miljøforskning for en grønn samfunnsomstilling

FUGLAN VEIT - safeguarding diversity in times of climate change and biodiversity loss

Alternative title: FUGLAN VEIT - å sikre kultur og naturmangfold i tider med klimaendringer og tap av biodiversitet

Awarded: NOK 12.8 mill.

FUGLAN VEIT is a transdisciplinary, collaborative research project that aims to examine and understand shared human-avian histories and create new lines of thought and action that ensure co-existence in times of alarming declines in seabird populations. Seabirds are part of coastal cultural heritage, and by building new alliances between scientific experts, local caretakers, artistic cultural brokers, included the seabirds, the objective is to improve the nesting situation for seabirds that seeks protection from humans during the nesting season. The project will focus on two circumpolar seabird species that seek protection from humans during the nesting season, the common eider and black legged kittiwakes. While the eider for centuries has sought human protection in the nesting period and constitutes a unique example of sustainable use and inter-species co-habitation, the kittiwake has recently become urbanized, intruding city life with its messiness and noisy behaviour. By applying a more-than-human approach, the project will provide new knowledge on management as well as on the creative placemaking potentials of inter-species relations. FUGLAN VEIT is led by UiT- the Arctic University of Norway, in collaboration with the Sámi University of Applied Science and NINA, and includes partners in Vega, Vardø and Porsanger. The partner locations represent a diverse history of traditional utilization of seabirds, including sea Sámi practices. Two types of partner activities are planned: 1) local “archival”- workshops: by using a 1970s’ archive on seabird practices as an asset that will be employed for sparking memory and reflections on contemporary local practices and potentials 2) nesting workshop focusing on the birds’ nesting preferences. A kittiwake hotel is planned in Vardø, an anthology of human-bird stories published, a PhD and master scholarships will be affiliated, to explore the potential and uncertainties for future inter-species co-existence.

FUGLAN VEIT addresses the need for collaborative and multidisciplinary alliances for management and care for endangered seabird species that seek protection from humans during the nesting season. The project will apply a more-than-human approach to seabird management, and will focus on two circumpolar species, the common eider (Somateria mollissima), and black legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla). While the eider for centuries has sought human protection in the nesting period and constitutes a unique example of sustainable use and inter-species collaboration (Sundsvold, 2015), the kittiwake has recently become urbanized, intruding city life with its messiness and noisy behaviour (Reiertsen, 2019-2020). By juxtaposing between these two species, the project will provide new knowledge on management as well as on the placemaking potentials of inter-species relations. By this, the project will contribute to address needed green societal transitions for management of critically endangered seabirds. Through multidisciplinary and partner collaboration the project will contribute to new perspectives on conservation, placemaking and management that recognizes diversity as a necessary part in communicating knowledge, and how this diversity may be put to work for mitigating climate-related environmental and societal challenges through concrete and practical collaboration.

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MILJØFORSK-Miljøforskning for en grønn samfunnsomstilling