Tag Archives | nomads

Mass migration program highlights contested nomads’ resettlement policies in Tibet

June 21, 2018

  • China has announced the displacement of more than 1,000 Tibetans from a nature reserve in northern Tibet to a settlement site in Lhasa, describing it as the first “high-altitude ecological migration”. Framing the removal of Tibetans – along with other mass relocations across the Tibetan plateau – in terms of “conservation and protection” fundamentally disregards the essential role of Tibetans in sustaining the wildlife, the long-term health of the ecosystems, and the water resources that China and Asia depend upon.
  • The state media also reported that fencing previously used to control and prevent movement of people across nomadic pastures in the reserve will now be removed – to ensure Tibetan antelopes can roam freely, not Tibetan herders. The fencing of the grasslands, an integral element of policy, had affected the mobility of the antelopes, which Tibetan nomads risked and sacrificed their lives to save in the 1990s when they were threatened with extinction due to poaching.
  • The “ecological migration” program is part of a new approach to set up national parks on the Tibetan plateau, contingent upon the removal of Tibetans from the land. National park status is imposed from the top-down, situating the state as the sole agency of control, and ignoring the concerns and expertise of local people. These policies are increasingly contested even within the PRC.
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Ban on access to nature reserves in Tibet raises concern about Tibetan nomads at UNESCO site

December 11, 2017

The Chinese authorities have issued a notice prohibiting access to the Hoh Xil nature reserve in Qinghai – which was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in July – except for security personnel or other authorized officials.

The notice raises further concerns about the exclusion of Tibetan pastoralists who have made skillful use of the remote, wild landscape here and across the plateau for centuries, co-existing with wildlife and protecting the land. It appears to counter Chinese assurances to UNESCO that they would “fully respect” local herders and “their traditional culture, religious beliefs, and lifestyle”.[1] The role of nomads in preservation of the landscape and the need for their free movement was recognized during discussion over China’s nomination for UNESCO status for the Hoh Xil area, including by international conservation body the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which carried out an evaluation mission to the area.[2]

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Nomads in ‘no man’s land’: how China’s policies risk the extinction of Tibetan pastoralism

September 15, 2017

Following is the English version of an article by ICT President Matteo Mecacci in Spanish that appeared in Newsweek En Español (September 11, 2017 issue). The issue’s cover story was on Tibet and included an interview with Dr. Lobsang Sangay, President of the Central Tibetan Administration.

Nomads in ‘no man’s land’: how China’s policies risk the extinction of Tibetan pastoralism

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