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University of Nottingham (2009)

Resilience of Tibetan pastoral system in modernisation

Xu, Haoyang

Titre : Resilience of Tibetan pastoral system in modernisation

Auteur : Xu, Haoyang

Université de soutenance : University of Nottingham.

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2009

On the Tibetan Plateau, there is a long history of animal farming practices. Although Tibetan pastoralism had been successful in the past to support the population, the problems of increasing demand and impact in the face of more scarce resources and global climate change are challenging pastoralists. The problem is even more pronounced in the Tibetan Plateau’s unique natural and socioeconomic conditions. Based on the perception of the problem, the Chinese government started a reform programme aiming at changing the nomadic practices in Tibet. Tibet today is in transition, not only in terms of pastoralism, but also that of culture, of institutions, and of economy, nevertheless the transition in pastoralism as a livelihood and source of income will have significant implications. The usefulness of the resilience concept in examining a complex system’s innovation, development, disturbance and reorganisation makes them suitable tools in the study of historical changes and the future of Tibet, as the area is under human management, and subject to the influence of changes in nature and external policies. In this study remote sensing and mathematical modelling approaches are used to assess ecological resilience in the region. The advantage of remote sensing allows the researcher to observe and analyse a large area as well as recent changes, and to examine the spatial pattern of these changes. The model simulates the dynamics of the grassland system given the current condition. The key functions linked to the system’s resilience can be examined in this model and provide information on the system’s sustainability. The simulation shows that the nomadic pastoralism system can better adapt to disturbances of known intensity and frequency than the sedentary style. However, the trend of climate change and population increase may require a change of organisation and practices for the system to be sustained.


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