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Sustainable Rangelands
Sustainable Pastoralism
in Yak Herding Areas
of the Tibetan Plateau & Central Asia
International Rangeland Congress 2016 (Saskatoon, Canada)
Plenary Session: High Altitude Rangelands of the World
J Marc Foggin, PhD
UNIVERSITY
OF CENTRALASIA
Sustainable Rangelands
Sustainable Pastoralism
in the Greater Tibetan Plateau
High Altitude Rangelands of the World…
Sustainable Rangelands
Sustainable Pastoralism
in the Greater Tibetan Plateau
High Altitude Rangelands of Asia
Tibetan Plateau | Himalayan Range | Mountains of Central Asia
Tibetan wild ass
(kiang)
Bar headed geese
Grey wolf
Lammergeyer
Upland buzzard
Plateau pika
Tibetan fox
Snow leopard
Wild yak
Domestic yak
Tibetan Pastoralism
Sustainability Rangelands
Pastoralism Tibet & CA
Distribution of yak (and yak hybrids)
Plan for today…
At a broad level:
 What is our goal?
 How do we get there?
— need for an enhanced
model of Sustainability
And more specifically:
 Five key messages
(lessons learned)
Sustainable Rangelands
What is our main goal as scientists?
 To develop ‘perfect models’ of economic behaviour, on
the basis of well-studied rangeland ecosystems? (or)
 To develop (possibly ‘sub-optimal’) integrative models,
and recommend interventions that will be adopted by
herders? – value of grasslands ‘richer’ than economics
Sustainable Pastoralism
Sustainable Rangelands
Sustainability = adoption of strategies
 The processes of searching for and developing sustainable
solutions may be as important as final product themselves
 Adoption often requires a ‘sense of ownership’ — enhanced
through local participation, ideally with a co-development
of ideas, also a supportive financing & policy environment
Sustainable Pastoralism
How do we get there?
In the High Altitude Rangelands…
An integrative model = multiple dimensions
 Environmental (livestock, ecosystem services, biodiversity)
 Economic (utilization of natural resources, human needs)
 Social (development aspirations, incl. cultural aspects)
 Also must consider: local histories, culture, politics…
Pastoralism  Rangelands  Sustainability
Different forms of pastoralism
 Nomadism
Seasonal movements, varying from year to year
Often without any village or permanent settlement
 Transhumance
Seasonal migrations, moving to higher pastures in summer
Regular encampments, winter settlements, some farming
… and everything in between
Pastoralism  Rangelands  Sustainability
Pastoralist regions
IUCN | Ecosystem Management: World Initiative for Sustainable Pastoralism (WISP)
Rangelands
(natural environment)
 Where are rangelands? What forms? What extent?
 What ecosystem goods and services? What value?
Pastoralism  Rangelands  Sustainability
Rangelands
& Wetlands
Pastoralism  Rangelands  Sustainability
Climate
change
Pastoralism  Rangelands  Sustainability
Provisioning
Supporting
Cultural
Regulating
Ecosystem Services
& Human Wellbeing
Total Economic Value (TEV) ?
Pastoralism  Rangelands  Sustainability
SUSTAINABILITY
– an expanded synthesis!
 Four Pillars of Sustainability
 Economy / development
 Environment / ecology
 Social dimensions
 Cultural aspects
Pastoralism  Rangelands  Sustainability
How can we achieve decisions by the resource users that
are favourable both to their socioeconomic situations and
their rangeland environments?
SUSTAINABILITY
– an expanded synthesis
Herders’ involvement in the processes of problem
identification, of research (data collection) and of
solution development are certainly critical elements.
SUSTAINABILITY
– an expanded synthesis
with Community & Culture
Yak Husbandry Areas
Five key messages
 High altitude rangelands are social-ecological systems
 Pastoralism is one of the most sustainable food systems
in the world — particularly in marginal (semi-)arid lands
 Vast areas of rangeland are situated in protected areas
(incl. indigenous & community conserved areas / ICCAs),
which may be considered either opportunity or constraint
 More participatory processes and equitable ‘access and
benefit sharing’ approaches should be advocated
 Adaptive governance of resources is critical, especially
in the context of rapid environmental & climate change
1. Social-Ecological Systems (SES)
The high altitude rangelands are
coupled social-ecological systems
 Humans & nature, coupled
systems, interdependence
 Conservation of rangelands is
premised not only on biodiversity
and ecological issues per se, but
also – fundamentally – on ensuring
that a sustainable pastoralism is
practiced, i.e. multiple human
dimensions are considered
2. Sustainable Food Systems
Pastoralism is one of the most sustainable food systems
in the world — particularly in marginal (semi-)arid lands
 Proven sustainability over decades and centuries
 Flexible and responsive decision-making processes
 Threatened by imposition of socio-political structures
 Benefits from pastoralism include ecosystem services
Four often-overlooked facts
about pastoralism (Davies & Hagelberg 2014)
 Mobility of livestock is essential to maintain the health of
dryland ecosystems
Four often-overlooked facts
about pastoralism
 Intensive livestock systems can degrade the environment
Four often-overlooked facts
about pastoralism
 Sustainable pastoral systems are more efficient, productive
and resilient than more sedentary agricultural systems in
rangelands when all factors and benefits are counted
Four often-overlooked facts
about pastoralism
 Pastoralism is a universal issue, as pastoralists share many
environmental and economic challenges and opportunities
3. Protected Areas in High Asia
Vast areas of rangeland are situated in protected areas
(incl. indigenous & community conserved areas / ICCAs) -
which may be considered either opportunity or constraint
4. Participatory Approaches
More participatory processes and equitable ‘access and
benefit sharing’ approaches should be advocated
4. Participatory Approaches
More participatory processes and equitable ‘access and
benefit sharing’ approaches should be advocated
 Collaborative management – for environment resources,
also for education and health services
4. Participatory Approaches
 Herders cooperatives for local development, search for
environmentally and socio-culturally sound solutions
4. Participatory Approaches
 Sustainable financing with local management (CDRFs)
4. Participatory Approaches
 Giving voice to local communities, marginalized groups
5. Adaptive Governance
Adaptive governance of resources is critical, especially in
the context of rapid environmental & climate change
 Pastoralism – adaptive and responsive over time
 Comprehensive value of rangelands and extensive forms
of pastoralism should be highlighted, awareness raised
Dr J Marc Foggin marc.foggin@ucentralasia.org
foggin@plateauperspectives.org
UNIVERSITY
OF CENTRALASIA

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Sustainable Pastoralism on the Tibetan Plateau

  • 1. Sustainable Rangelands Sustainable Pastoralism in Yak Herding Areas of the Tibetan Plateau & Central Asia International Rangeland Congress 2016 (Saskatoon, Canada) Plenary Session: High Altitude Rangelands of the World J Marc Foggin, PhD UNIVERSITY OF CENTRALASIA
  • 2. Sustainable Rangelands Sustainable Pastoralism in the Greater Tibetan Plateau High Altitude Rangelands of the World… Sustainable Rangelands Sustainable Pastoralism in the Greater Tibetan Plateau
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7. High Altitude Rangelands of Asia Tibetan Plateau | Himalayan Range | Mountains of Central Asia
  • 18.
  • 19.
  • 22.
  • 23. Distribution of yak (and yak hybrids)
  • 24. Plan for today… At a broad level:  What is our goal?  How do we get there? — need for an enhanced model of Sustainability And more specifically:  Five key messages (lessons learned)
  • 25. Sustainable Rangelands What is our main goal as scientists?  To develop ‘perfect models’ of economic behaviour, on the basis of well-studied rangeland ecosystems? (or)  To develop (possibly ‘sub-optimal’) integrative models, and recommend interventions that will be adopted by herders? – value of grasslands ‘richer’ than economics Sustainable Pastoralism
  • 26. Sustainable Rangelands Sustainability = adoption of strategies  The processes of searching for and developing sustainable solutions may be as important as final product themselves  Adoption often requires a ‘sense of ownership’ — enhanced through local participation, ideally with a co-development of ideas, also a supportive financing & policy environment Sustainable Pastoralism
  • 27. How do we get there?
  • 28. In the High Altitude Rangelands… An integrative model = multiple dimensions  Environmental (livestock, ecosystem services, biodiversity)  Economic (utilization of natural resources, human needs)  Social (development aspirations, incl. cultural aspects)  Also must consider: local histories, culture, politics… Pastoralism  Rangelands  Sustainability
  • 29. Different forms of pastoralism  Nomadism Seasonal movements, varying from year to year Often without any village or permanent settlement  Transhumance Seasonal migrations, moving to higher pastures in summer Regular encampments, winter settlements, some farming … and everything in between Pastoralism  Rangelands  Sustainability
  • 30. Pastoralist regions IUCN | Ecosystem Management: World Initiative for Sustainable Pastoralism (WISP)
  • 31. Rangelands (natural environment)  Where are rangelands? What forms? What extent?  What ecosystem goods and services? What value? Pastoralism  Rangelands  Sustainability
  • 32. Rangelands & Wetlands Pastoralism  Rangelands  Sustainability
  • 36. Total Economic Value (TEV) ? Pastoralism  Rangelands  Sustainability
  • 37. SUSTAINABILITY – an expanded synthesis!  Four Pillars of Sustainability  Economy / development  Environment / ecology  Social dimensions  Cultural aspects Pastoralism  Rangelands  Sustainability
  • 38. How can we achieve decisions by the resource users that are favourable both to their socioeconomic situations and their rangeland environments? SUSTAINABILITY – an expanded synthesis
  • 39. Herders’ involvement in the processes of problem identification, of research (data collection) and of solution development are certainly critical elements. SUSTAINABILITY – an expanded synthesis with Community & Culture
  • 41. Five key messages  High altitude rangelands are social-ecological systems  Pastoralism is one of the most sustainable food systems in the world — particularly in marginal (semi-)arid lands  Vast areas of rangeland are situated in protected areas (incl. indigenous & community conserved areas / ICCAs), which may be considered either opportunity or constraint  More participatory processes and equitable ‘access and benefit sharing’ approaches should be advocated  Adaptive governance of resources is critical, especially in the context of rapid environmental & climate change
  • 42. 1. Social-Ecological Systems (SES) The high altitude rangelands are coupled social-ecological systems  Humans & nature, coupled systems, interdependence  Conservation of rangelands is premised not only on biodiversity and ecological issues per se, but also – fundamentally – on ensuring that a sustainable pastoralism is practiced, i.e. multiple human dimensions are considered
  • 43. 2. Sustainable Food Systems Pastoralism is one of the most sustainable food systems in the world — particularly in marginal (semi-)arid lands  Proven sustainability over decades and centuries  Flexible and responsive decision-making processes  Threatened by imposition of socio-political structures  Benefits from pastoralism include ecosystem services
  • 44. Four often-overlooked facts about pastoralism (Davies & Hagelberg 2014)  Mobility of livestock is essential to maintain the health of dryland ecosystems
  • 45. Four often-overlooked facts about pastoralism  Intensive livestock systems can degrade the environment
  • 46. Four often-overlooked facts about pastoralism  Sustainable pastoral systems are more efficient, productive and resilient than more sedentary agricultural systems in rangelands when all factors and benefits are counted
  • 47. Four often-overlooked facts about pastoralism  Pastoralism is a universal issue, as pastoralists share many environmental and economic challenges and opportunities
  • 48. 3. Protected Areas in High Asia Vast areas of rangeland are situated in protected areas (incl. indigenous & community conserved areas / ICCAs) - which may be considered either opportunity or constraint
  • 49.
  • 50. 4. Participatory Approaches More participatory processes and equitable ‘access and benefit sharing’ approaches should be advocated
  • 51. 4. Participatory Approaches More participatory processes and equitable ‘access and benefit sharing’ approaches should be advocated  Collaborative management – for environment resources, also for education and health services
  • 52. 4. Participatory Approaches  Herders cooperatives for local development, search for environmentally and socio-culturally sound solutions
  • 53. 4. Participatory Approaches  Sustainable financing with local management (CDRFs)
  • 54. 4. Participatory Approaches  Giving voice to local communities, marginalized groups
  • 55. 5. Adaptive Governance Adaptive governance of resources is critical, especially in the context of rapid environmental & climate change  Pastoralism – adaptive and responsive over time  Comprehensive value of rangelands and extensive forms of pastoralism should be highlighted, awareness raised
  • 56. Dr J Marc Foggin marc.foggin@ucentralasia.org foggin@plateauperspectives.org UNIVERSITY OF CENTRALASIA