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The Tibetan Plateau is the source of seven major rivers, including two of the longest rivers in Asia: the Salween and the Yellow River. A significant source of fresh water and wetland biodiversity, this area was established as the Three Rivers Source National Nature Reserve. However, the Tibetan Plateau is not only a site for water and biodiversity, it is also the center of traditional Tibetan culture, identity, livelihoods, and belief systems. Tibetan herders play an important role in environmental protection and identify themselves as rangeland protectors and local experts. This chapter explores how herders’ livelihoods are connected to the source of the Salween and Yellow Rivers, and how they have responded to environmental change on the Tibetan Plateau.
In Tibetan language, the Salween is known as Gyalmo Ngulchu and the Yellow River is called Ma Chu.
There are a variety of “experimental zones” across China. They are not all the same, with different policies and different practices. I have explained here how local people see it, but it is not always entirely clear.
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- Local Knowledge and Rangeland Protection on the Tibetan Plateau: Lessons for Conservation and Co-management of the Upper Nu-Salween and Yellow River Watersheds
Ka Ji Jia