In October, “the Second Phase of Lao Niu Wetland Protection - Qomolangma National Nature Preserve” Project financed by our Foundation and organized and implemented by Tibetan Pendeba Society was completed and summarized as schedule. The project has benefited 12055 people in 2430 households in 29 administrative villages in Tingri County, Nyalam County and Gyirong County and restored nearly 50,000 mu wetlands.
Comparison of wetland before and after restoration
The importance of water to wetland is self-evident. Mt. Qomolangma Wetland is located at the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and mainly relies on glacial melt water; under the influence of climate change, unreasonable utilization by mankind and many other factors, the glaciers at Mt. Qomolangma region are melting at a faster pace. In this context, it is particular important to guide the people in the Mt. Qomolangma community to use the limited resources to carry daily activities and protect the wetlands they depend on for survival in a scientific and reasonable way. The project adopts the mode of “one project, one incentive, one publicity and education, and multiple development opportunities” to reasonable guide the people in the community to carry out daily activities and strengthen the restoration and protection of the wetlands. The incentive measures include setting up project incentive fund in each administrative village. Tibetan Pendeba Society has reached agreement with the village committees, namely the villagers exert their efforts and the society contributes goods. The village committees are responsible for guiding the villagers to participate in wetland conservation and Tibetan Pendeba Society will provide the materials or development projects required according to practical local requirements as incentives.
Wetlands before and after beautification
For rural administrative villages, the farmlands are right besides wetlands. In the seasons when the farmlands need irrigation, people will directly draw water from wetland for irrigation. After the wetlands dry up, the output of farmlands will decline on the contrary. As a result, they can only draw water from rivers. Eventually, the output of farmlands is far worse than before. The community knows about the importance of wetlands to farmlands, but they don’t know how to protect the wetlands due to the lack of funds. The only thing they can do is to watch it getting worse. After sufficient investigation and survey by Tibetan Pendeba Society, they started to protect wetlands with “small scale but highly intensive chaining fence”. In the meantime, they also held publicity and education activities for wetlands and organized villagers to complement water in the wetlands. Small scale but highly intensive chaining fence not only effectively protects the habitats of waterbirds like black-necked crane and core areas of wetlands, but also avoids the trouble caused by large-scale chaining fence to the migration of wild animals; through publicity and education activities for wetlands, the villagers gradually understand the relationship between wetlands and farmlands and the importance of wetlands. After farm irrigation, they will complement the water in the wetlands and allow wetlands to restore gradually. As a result, the grain output of farmlands gradually increases. Besides, barley straws can also effectively solve the issue of insufficient feeds for livestock, thus achieving a win-win situation.
Complement of water for wetland and publicity and education for wetland
For villagers in the administrative villages in pasturing areas, the biggest trouble is the lack of captive facilities in the wild when grazing in summer and the threat from wild animals when herding sheep in the night. In particular, the flock of sheep and goals would run about in rainy days, making the herdsmen nervous every night. After investigation and survey and consultation, Pendeba Society guides the herdsmen to have reasonable rotation grazing in the form of donating “mobile sheepfold” and carry out activities such as complementing the water for wetlands, protecting core wetland areas and waterbird habitats, cleaning garbage in wetlands and wetland publicity and education. In this way, they can effectively protect wetland resources while solving the practical needs of the herdsmen.
Herdsmen and mobile sheepfold
“Pendeba” is formed by three Tibetan letters, meaning “the one who seeks welfare for the people”. When implementing Lao Niu Wetland Protection - Qomolangma National Nature Preserve Project, Tibetan Pendeba Society adequately listens to the masses’ opinion in the way of extensive investigation and survey. In the process of project design, they would target the requirements of the beneficiaries through needs assessment, respect the practical needs and wishes of local villagers, reply on the force of the local people to protect the natural environment they rely on for survival and allow them to coexist in harmony with the nature. Just as our environmental protection concept: environmental protection should not be limited to one time or one place and our permanent pursuit is the harmonious coexistence between man and nature.