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1 August 2005 Tibetan Land Use and Change Near Khawa Karpo, Eastern Himalayas
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Collaborating Authors: Bee Gunn, Wayne Law, George Yatskievych, Wu Sugong, Fang Zhendong, Ma Jian, Wang Yuhua, Andrew Willson, Peng Shengjing, Zhang Chuanling, Sun Hongyan, Meng Zhengui, Liu Lin, Senam Dorji, Ana, Liqing Wangcuo, Sila Cili, Adu, Naji, Amu, Sila Cimu, Sila Lamu, Lurong Pingding, Zhima Yongzong, Loangbao, Bianma Cimu, Gerong Cili, Wang Kai, Sila Pingchu, Axima, and Benjamin Staver. Tibetan land use near Khawa Karpo, Northwest Yunnan, China, incorporates indigenous forest management, gathering, pastoralism, and agriculture. With field-based GIS, repeat photography, and Participatory Rural Appraisal we quantitatively compare land use between higher and lower villages, and between villages with and without roads. Households in higher elevation (>3,000 meters) villages cultivate more farmland (z = −5.387, P ≤ 0.001), a greater diversity of major crops (z = −5.760, P < 0.001), a higher percentage of traditional crops, and fewer cash crops (z = −2.430, P = 0.015) than those in lower elevation villages (<2,500 meters). Villages with roads grow significantly more cash crops (z = −6.794, P ≤ 0.001). Both lower villages and villages with roads travel farther to access common property resources. Historical analyses indicate agricultural intensification in valleys, an increase in houses, new crop introduction, hillside aforestation, cessation of hunting, glacial retreat, and timber-line advance within the past century. We suggest that Tibetan land use reveals trade-offs between high, remote villages and lower villages near roads. Higher villages offer abundant land and access to natural resources but short growing seasons and little market access; in contrast, lower villages have road and market access, an extended growing season, and modern technology, but limited access to land and many other natural resources.

Jan Salick, Yang Yongping, and Anthony Amend "Tibetan Land Use and Change Near Khawa Karpo, Eastern Himalayas," Economic Botany 59(4), 312-325, (1 August 2005). https://doi.org/10.1663/0013-0001(2005)059[0312:TLUACN]2.0.CO;2
Received: 13 June 2005; Accepted: 1 September 2005; Published: 1 August 2005
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