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Biodiversity, Livelihoods and Struggles over Sustainability in Nepal

Campbell, Ben

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Nepal’s impoverished mountain communities benefited after the 1950s through Swiss-style cheese-making from yak-cow hybrids. This relieved the drop in economic opportunities after Chinese occupation of Tibet. Income-generating transhumant dairy pastoralism subsequently suffered from state environmental management by national parks in the 1970s. This prioritised ‘wild’ landscape in accordance with international trends and tourism values, instead of the biological and cultural diversity of the traditional landscape. The impractical nature–culture binarism of nature protection eventually yielded to less misanthropic policy regimes involving buffer zones in the late 1990s. In the 2010s, climate change agendas have revived the binary protectionist approach, at the expense of local land use practices, due to the perceived need to protect eco-system services of the mountainsides in the era of the Anthropocene. This paper tracks oscillations of national and international policy, and the abilities of indigenous people to participate in transitioning to more sustainable landscapes.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 13, 2018
Online Publication Date Sep 11, 2018
Publication Date Nov 17, 2018
Deposit Date Mar 13, 2018
Publicly Available Date Mar 11, 2020
Journal Landscape Research
Print ISSN 0142-6397
Electronic ISSN 1469-9710
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 8
Pages 1056-1067
Keywords Himalayas, transhumance, yak herding, migration, national parks
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