Human Ecology

, 39:657 | Cite as

The Heterogeneity of Khumbu Sherpa Ecological Knowledge and Understanding in Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park and Buffer Zone, Nepal

Article

Abstract

The ecological knowledge and understanding of indigenous peoples and long-term settlers is heterogeneous and continually in flux as they adapt to ecological, political and economic changes. This research focuses on Khumbu Sherpa ecological knowledge and its relation to environmental decision-making. The Sherpa, Tibetan Buddhists who practice agro-pastoralism, provide tourism services to visitors of Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park and Buffer Zone. Utilizing mixed quantitative and qualitative methods, I selected a stratified random sample of 100 individuals to assess spiritual values, and species and landscape knowledge. The results generally showed that individuals who lived on the tourist route and younger generations had less knowledge of these domains. These findings suggest that some Sherpa ecological knowledge and understanding had shifted from spiritual and agro-pastoralist socioeconomic values to a more tourism-centered economic logic. Future environmental decisions may be influenced by these changes.

Keywords

Ecological knowledge and understanding Heterogeneity Tourism Sherpa Himalayas 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Portland State UniversityPortlandUSA

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