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‘From Worse to Better’

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Chapter Summary

The grassland on the Tibetan Plateau is an ancient cultural landscape shaped as such over the last two millennia. However, due to various human activities and climatic changes over the past 50 years, its degradation and desertification has been accelerated. Although the Chinese government has recognised the problem and its scope, particularly since the 1990s, top-down interventions to resolve the severe environmental degradation have not yet been successful, and in parts even counterproductive. The current situation is the result of obvious political constellations and of various forms of experience, deeply anchored in collective patterns of perception and modes of interpretation. However, the example of a community-based anti-desertification project initiated in 2010 appears as a feasible solution to the concrete problem, one that potentially reaches out far beyond the immediate scope of environmental conservation.

Keywords:anti-desertification policies; Chinese government; climatic changes; environmental conservation; grassland; Tibetan Plateau



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