Implementation of Resettlement Programmes Amongst Pastoralist Communities in Eastern Tibet

  • Jarmila PtackovaEmail author
Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER)


In the context of a major policy initiative by the Chinese state to better ­integrate western areas with the rest of the country, the government is implementing numerous programmes that affect the pastoral communities of the Tibetan Plateau. Resettlement of pastoralists away from their traditional grazing lands is the most significant intervention into their way of life. According to the design of resettlement programmes, small village settlements are viewed as ideal for establishing new lifestyles for Tibetan pastoralists who should afford increased comfort and income possibilities through better connections to infrastructure. The research results from my case study area of Zeku County, Qinghai Province, demonstrate that implementation of resettlement away from grasslands often does not reflect official planning, and that there has been a general lack of consultation with Tibetan pastoralists throughout the entire process. Due to insufficient state support for pastoralists to obtain alternative skills and livelihoods, the many resettlement villages now appearing across the eastern Tibetan plateau remain populated by unemployed pastoralists facing an uncertain future.


Resettlement Sedentarization Development Governmental ­programmes Grassland degradation Tibet 



I would like to express my thanks to Hermann Kreutzmann for inviting me to participate on this issue and to Toni Huber for his encouragement and support to write this chapter. Further I would like to thank to sKalbzang Tshebrtan for his assistance during the fieldwork. I am also grateful for the chance to be a member of the RETPEC project funded by the European Commission, which enabled a study of recent strategy of development and environmental policy implementation in comparative rangeland areas of Eastern Tibet.


1.Community or village (Chin: 村cun) refers here to the smallest administrative unit in the Chinese state administrative system. It describes an area inhabited and used by people who administratively belong to one community. The next higher administrative levels are township (Chin: 乡 xiang), county (Chin: 县 xian), prefecture (Chin: 洲 zhou), province (Chin: 省 sheng) or autonomous region (Chin: 自治区zizhiqu) and central government (Chin: 中央 zhongyang).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Central Asian Seminar, Institute for Asian and African StudiesHumboldt UniversityBerlinGermany

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