Urban Transition in China’s Wild West

Urban Transition in China’s Wild West

Community project, Learnings, Viewpoint
I can't describe how wonderful it feels to be back in Xining, reconnecting with friends here. Even so, I want even more to escape back to the villages once again. Qinghai has long been considered the 'wild west' of China because of its large nomadic population. My colleagues and friends have all heard about Qinghai's nomads and farmers from me before, but I have seldom spoken of its urban condition and the massive urbanization pressures transforming its lands. This story is perhaps a darker tale so read on only if you are prepared for the grim reality of industrial transition. Here in Xining, the capital city of Qinghai, the smell of coal pervades the streets and infiltrates the homes. The building I am staying in has its own coal-fired power…
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Tibetan Nomads, Farmers and Semi-Nomads on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Tibetan Nomads, Farmers and Semi-Nomads on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Clean stove project, Community project, Learnings, Viewpoint
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is one of the highest and biggest plateaus in the world, with an area of 2.5 million km. The average elevation of the plateau is over 4500 meters. Due to its altitude, it is also known as the “roof of the world.” The roof of the world is surrounded by many tall mountains and is also the source of three famous rivers in China: Yellow, Yangtze and Mekong Rivers. [caption id="attachment_411" align="alignright" width="300"] Figure 1: Qinghai-Tibet Plateau[/caption] Tibetans are indigenous to the plateau and their livelihoods are strongly tied to this vast land. Today there are 36 million people on the plateau, but Tibetans only percent 5.4 million or 15% of the total population. For thousands of years, Tibetans made a descent life by adapting various ecological…
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