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FRISAM-Fri prosjektstøtte samfunnsvitenskap

Pastoralism in China: Policy and practice

Tildelt: kr 5,2 mill.

In contemporary China pastoralism as a way of life is under pressure. This project investigates the links between changes in herding practices and changes in the policy framework governing access to important resources such as grazing land and water sourc es. Using multi-sited field research, the project draws comparisons between three different herding populations in China, and between reindeer herders in China and Norway. Three case studies have been chosen: Tibetan sheep and yak herders in the Qinghai Lake region, Mongolian herders in a neighboring area, also in Qinghai, and Ewenki reindeer herders in Inner Mongolia. The research seeks to shed light on the complex relationships between property and use rights regimes, indigenous resource management tec hniques and adaptations, local power structures, policy implementation, policing and access control to grazing land and water. This requires investigating not only policies, laws and regulations, but also policy implementation and local practices, which m ay be contradictory. It also requires examining conflicts and the negotiation of rights and responsibilities within and between pastoralist communities, which highlights the tensions that emerge from changing herding practices and policies, and new pressu res on the resource base. The project aims to answer several important questions: (1) How are government policies and programs targeting pastoralist communities implemented locally? 2) How do pastoralists understand and respond to these measures? 3) How are both these and other factors impacting on the natural environment and resource base, thus creating new challenges? 4) How do local officials responsible for carrying out government policies and programs understand and respond to the emerging challenge s? And finally, 5) how can policies, programs and resource management frameworks be improved so as to better meet these challenges?


FRISAM-Fri prosjektstøtte samfunnsvitenskap