Tibet’s Nomad Settlement Policy May Be Based On Bad Science
China is not the first country to see livestock grazing as the cause of environmental degradation. In the 1900s, many naturalists in the US arrived at the same conclusion and blamed cattle grazing for the ruin of alpine meadows. However today, even as China is in the completion phase of a massive program to remove millions of Tibetan nomads into new towns from the grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau, the United States and several other developed countries have started to reintroduce traditional grazing practices as a possible solution to restoring grassland ecosystems. The livestock grazing and ecology experts Tibet in Review interviewed, say that there have been positive changes to grassland environments around the world, including reduction of desertification and improvement of water quality, after reintroducing traditional grazing systems.
Interview: Kent Solberg, livestock and grazing specialist of Sustainable Farming Association, MN; Wayne Monsen, a retired grazing specialist for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Julia Klein, Associate Professor at Colorado State University who conducted a research on grazing and ecology in Tibet.
Other sources: Sustainable and Farming Association of Minnesota; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.