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Kegawa Herders Cooperative

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Introduction to the Kegawa Herders Cooperative. The cooperative was established by Tibetan herders in the Yushu area to produce and sell livestock products, to help provide employment, and to generate income for local community members in ecologically sound ways. Founded with the support of Plateau Perspectives. The benefits of founding the cooperative include enhanced community resilience (in the face of climate change) and environmental conservation outcomes. Presented in special session co-hosted by Mountain Societies Research Institute (University of Central Asia) and Central Asia Mountain Hub (CAMH), at the Mountain Futures 2016 conference held in Kunming, China, on March 1-4, 2016; organised by ICRAF.

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Kegawa Herders Cooperative

  1. 1. KEGAWA HERDERS’ COOPERATIVE – ENHANCING COMMUNITY RESILIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION IN THE YANGTZE RIVER HEADWATERS Herder Cooperatives in the Tibetan Plateau region DR J MARC FOGGIN M O U N T A I N S O C I E T I E S R E S E A R C H I N S T I T U T E UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ASIA
  2. 2. http://blog.sina.com.cn/kegawa Kegawa Herders Cooperative Established by Tibetan herders in the Yushu area to produce and sell livestock products, to help provide employment and generate income for local community members in ecologically sound ways. Founded with the support of © kora 2016
  3. 3. Launching the Cooperative !  Following a ‘study tour’ to Mongolia in 2008, in which our team observed positive development outcomes from… !  Increased access to credit (micro-finance), !  Improved confidence through tourism ventures, !  Communities strengthened through collaborations, and !  Improved grassland environmental conditions… !  Our senior field staff in Xining decided to encourage the trial establishment of a community cooperative This launched the process of developing the community- based Kegawa Herders Cooperative in Qinghai province
  4. 4. Highlands of Central Asia
  5. 5. Yak Herding in High Asia
  6. 6. Three Rivers’ Headwaters (Sanjiangyuan) !  Source areas of the Yellow, Yangtze and Mekong rivers !  High wetlands & rangelands !  Yak and sheep husbandry !  Development policies and ‘modernization’ !  Sanjiangyuan nat’l nature reserve (c. 153,000 km2)
  7. 7. Tibet Autonomous Region Under Golmud Administration Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Tsonub Mongolian and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Dechen Tibetan AP Mili Tibetan AC Kartse Tibetan AP Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang AP Tsojang Tibetan AP Tsolho Tibetan AP Golog Tibetan AP Pari TibetanAC Haidong Prefecture Kanlho Tibetan AP Malho Tibatan AP Xining City and District T I B E T A U T O N O M O U S R E G I O N Q I N G H A I G A N S U Y U N N A N S I C H U A N China India Kazakhstan Mongolia Myanmar Thailand Pakistan Nepal Philippines South Korea Area of detail Kilometers 0 2,000 Russia Source: Boundary (Marshall and Cooke, Tibet Outside the TAR, 1997) Satellite Image (NASA), 2004©Tsering Wangyal Shawa, Princeton University, 2008 Location Map TIBET Lhasa Miles0 150 300 Kilometers0 200 400 X I N J I A N G I N N E R M O N G O L I A NINGXIA AP Autonomous Prefecture AC Autonomous County Provincial Boundary Tibetan Cultural Area Tibetan Plateau •  Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) •  Qinghai Province •  Gansu Province •  Sichuan Province •  Yunnan Province Sanjiangyuan Region .
  8. 8. Zhiduo County, Qinghai Province
  9. 9. Collaborative approach as ‘middle ground’ At both ends of the spectrum: !  National plans – ‘one size fits all’ does not allow for adequate adaptation, social-ecological realities may be ignored, some change is needed in resource governance !  Household responsibility – personal advantage may take precedence, increasing disparities, social instability Governance of the middle ground: !  Community level governance – development processes may be slower, but resulting change will be deeper and longer lasting – economic outcomes also may be strengthened by social benefits
  10. 10. Kegawa Herders Cooperative !  Started with ~40 households; now with over 90 households !  Main goal: strengthening community cooperation and cohesion, providing access for members to variety of new (previously unavailable) development options; embedded in ecological context © Kegawa
  11. 11. Kegawa Herders Cooperative !  Market research undertaken – local and regional !  Favorable policy environment – coops, conservation !  Community chosen focus on ‘ecological’ livestock products !  Raw materials, in particular yak wool !  Value-add products, e.g. handicrafts © Kegawa !  Ecotourism, including community-based service provision (with training opportunities); clean-up !  Handicraft development !  Shop and library in town !  Environmental monitoring
  12. 12. Kegawa Herders Cooperative Development of community-based tourism: !  Destination marketing (regional approach, equity) Outcomes !  Diversification of livelihoods (enhanced resilience), increased income, capacity development, enhanced sense of community !  Raising awareness of government authorities !  Potential role of tourism for poverty alleviation, conservation, etc. !  Introduction of cultural tourism and ‘adventure’ tourism !  Kite flying festival, traditional archery, river rafting, nature tourism
  13. 13. Kegawa Herders Cooperative © Kegawa !  Environmental monitoring !  Snowline is rising !  Flowers are earlier !  Wildlife is monitored
  14. 14. K2 Partnership Kegawa-kora (K2) Partnership http://www.kora.net/ !  Our goal is to help the people and ecology of the Himalayas to thrive. By sourcing yak wool from nomadic herders on the Qinghai Tibet plateau, we help them to adapt to change while also maintaining their culture, knowledge and traditions. !  Kegawa Annual General Meeting (AGM) !  52 of 92 households attended annual general meeting in December 2015 !  Annual profits are shared as dividends to members, top-up of core fund, social fund© Jesse Montes
  15. 15. The kora vision… !  A mutually beneficial partnership with a socially driven business !  Empowerment of local herders as partners !  Generating revenues through wool purchase and seasonal employment !  Raising awareness through the brand's marketing activities K2 Partnership
  16. 16. Resilience to Climate Change Outcomes of coop establishment !  Diversified local economies, with a variety of livelihood options available to herders !  Decreased dependence on livestock For example, community-beneficial tourism / ecotourism, banking on a diversity of cultural and natural resources !  Greater returns on investment !  Value add on products !  Capacity building
  17. 17. Environmental Conservation Kegawa ‘working groups’ include !  Education and awareness raising !  Grassland and wildlife monitoring teams These can serve as a model for mutually beneficial partnerships with protected areas and other environmental authorities !  Ecological husbandry (livestock management) !  Handicraft development (training, value-add) !  Garbage collection (e.g. after local festivals)
  18. 18. LESSONS LEARNED Collaborative Governance (1) !  Conservation outcomes sometimes are best achieved through ‘human’ solutions (rather than focusing on technical solutions or strictly biological knowledge) !  Socio-economic aspirations may be leveraged for integrated development and conservation outcomes
  19. 19. LESSONS LEARNED Collaborative Governance (2) !  The development of sound (i.e. genuine, trusting) partnerships is essential for sustainable change to take place – see, e.g., the Kegawa-kora vision !  Enabling and supportive policy environments are necessary to allow for safe and creative trialing of new development models in mountain regions
  20. 20. Empowering farmers and pastoralists An alternative way to increase world food supply is to empower small-scale farmers and pastoralists, a policy that is endorsed in principle by governments … but lacking major implementation to date. It is necessary to redress current economic policies for agriculture and food – to empower historic guardians of agro- bioresources so that they may increase food security and ensure the conservation of vast areas of dryland and other natural habitats. Hodges et al. (2014)
  21. 21. Mountain Societies Research Institute R4D in Central Asia MSRI @ University of Central Asia msri.ucentralasia.org Dr J Marc Foggin Associate Director, MSRI marc.foggin@ucentralasia.org

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