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Knowledge of and Vulnerability to Climate Change among Pastoralists in Central Tibet

Knowledge of and Vulnerability to Climate Change among Pastoralists in Central Tibet

Climate Change in Central Asia Lecture by Emily Yeh (University of Colorado Boulder)

Thursday, February 11, 2016
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall

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Yeh will discuss findings about Tibetan pastoralists’ knowledge of climate change, as well as factors leading to vulnerability to climate change, based on an interdisciplinary project conducted in Nagchu, in the northern part of the Tibet Autonomous Region, PRC. Yeh will argue that spring phenology appears to be delayed on the Tibetan Plateau. Further, she will argue that it is precisely points of apparent contradiction within and between knowledge systems that are most productive for more extensive inquiry on climate change. Finally, Yeh turns to a political ecology analysis of various factors that lead to vulnerability to livestock loss from large snowstorms, which are projected to increase in severity and frequency with climate change.


Emily T. Yeh is a professor and department chair of Geography at the University of Colorado Boulder. She conducts research on nature-society relations in Tibetan parts of the PRC, including projects on conflicts over access to natural resources, the relationship between ideologies of nature and nation, the political ecology of pastoral environment and development policies, and emerging environmental subjectivities. Her book Taming Tibet: Landscape Transformation and the Gift of Chinese Development (Cornell University Press 2013), which explores the intersection of political economy and cultural politics of development as a project of state territorialization, was named a “best book of 2014” by Foreign Affairs for the Asia/Pacific region. She is also co-editor with Chris Coggins of Mapping Shangrila: Contested Landscapes in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands, and with Kevin O’Brien and Ye Jingzhong of Rural Politics in Contemporary China.

Sponsor(s): Program on Central Asia, Anthropology, Geography