Advertisement

Sociocultural and Ecological Systems of Pastoralism in Inner Asia: Cases from Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia in China and the Pamirs of Badakhshan, Afghanistan

  • Karim-Aly S. Kassam
  • Chuan Liao
  • Shikui Dong
Chapter

Abstract

In pastoral societies, economic and ecological aims are not necessarily in conflict. These societies, through mobility, engage different ecological niches as a livelihood strategy. Specific case studies from Inner Asia indicate that instead of seeking to replace pastoralism as an ecological profession through forced sedentarization, governments should seek to enhance its historically proven potential for food and livelihood security. The case from the Altay Mountains and the Tian Shan documents the effect of sedentarizing pastoral communities, resulting in the removal of sociocultural and ecological diversity, with profound consequences on income. It is an example of the central government asserting administrative authority in the name of ecological restoration while pursuing strictly an instrumental agenda of economic extraction of key renewable and nonrenewable resources. The case from Inner Mongolia shows increased economic and ecological vulnerability of pastoral societies caused by government-induced sedentarization programs but also illustrates the adaptive capacity of pastoral institutions under such policies. The final case, from the Pamirs, shows that under conditions of political and economic stress, interactions between diverse ecological professions such as farmers and herders is central to livelihood and food security through mutual dependence. It is the basis for survival.

Keywords

Food Security Social Vulnerability Tianshan Mountain Livelihood Strategy Economic Vulnerability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Amitai R (2005) Mongols, Turks, and others: Eurasian nomads and the sedentary world. Brill, LeidenGoogle Scholar
  2. Barfield T (1981) The Central Asian Arabs of Afghanistan: pastoral nomadism in transition. University of Texas Press, AustinGoogle Scholar
  3. Becquelin N (2004) Staged development in Xinjiang. China Q 178:358–378,  10.1017/S0305741004000219 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Behnke R (1993) Range ecology at disequilibrium: new models of natural variability and pastoral adaptation in African savannas. Overseas Development Institute, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Benson L, Svanberg I (1998) China’s last Nomads: the history and culture of China’s Kazaks. ME Sharpe, ArmonkGoogle Scholar
  6. Bliss F (2006) Social and economic change in the Pamirs, Tajikistan. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown C, Waldron S, Longworth J (2008) Sustainable development in western China: managing people, livestock and grasslands in pastoral areas. Edward Elgar, CheltenhamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cerny A (2010) Going where the grass is greener: China Kazaks and the Oralman immigration policy in Kazakhstan. Pastoralism 1(2):218–247Google Scholar
  9. Chambers R (1997) Whose reality counts? Putting the first last. Intermediate Technology Publication, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chilonda P, Otte J (2006) Indicators to monitor trends in livestock production at national, regional and international levels. Livestock Res Rural Dev 18(8):117Google Scholar
  11. Cliff TMJ (2009) Neo oasis: the Xinjiang Bingtuan in the twenty-first century. Asian Stud Rev 33(1):83–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Daftary F (1990) The Ismailis: their history and doctrines. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  13. Dong SK, Gao HW, Xu GC, Hou XY, Long RJ, Kang MY, Lassoie PJ (2007) Farmer and professional attitudes to the large-scale ban on livestock grazing of grasslands in China. Environ Conserv 34(3):246–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dong SK, Wen L, Zhu L, Li XY (2010) Implication of coupled natural and human systems in sustainable rangeland ecosystem management in HKH region. Frontiers of Earth Science in China 2010 4(1):42–50Google Scholar
  15. Dong SK, Ren Z (2015) Animal husbandry civilization and grassland health: understanding the coupling system between grassland animal husbandry ecology and human society. J Lanzhou Univ (Soc Sci) 43(4):105–110Google Scholar
  16. Everitt BS, Landau S, Leese M, Stahl D, Shewhart WA, Wilks SS (2011) Cluster analysis, 5th edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/9780470977811 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Felmy S, Kreutzmann H (2004) Wakahn Wolusswali in Badakhshan. Observations and reflections from Afghanistan’s periphery. Erdkunde 58(2):97–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fernandez-Gimenez ME, Le Febre S (2006) Mobility in pastoral systems: dynamic flux or downward trend? Int J Sustain Dev World Ecol 13(5):341–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Goodman D (1989) China’s regional development. Routledge for Royal Institute of International Affairs London, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. Goodman D (2004) China’s campaign to “Open up the West”: national, provincial, and local perspectives. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  21. Greenwood DJ, Levin M (1998) Introduction to action research: social research for social change. Sage Publications, LondonGoogle Scholar
  22. Grotenhuis ET (2002) Along the silk road. Smithsonian Institution, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  23. Hardin G (1968) The tragedy of the commons. Science 162:1243–1248Google Scholar
  24. Harris RB (2010) Rangeland degradation on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau: a review of the evidence of its magnitude and causes. J Arid Environ 74(1):1–12Google Scholar
  25. Hunsberger AC (2000) Nasir Khusraw, The Ruby of Badakhshan. IB Taurus, LondonGoogle Scholar
  26. Kassam K-AS (2009a) Viewing change through the prism of indigenous human ecology: findings from the Afghan and Tajik Pamirs. Hum Ecol 37(6):377–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kassam K-AS (2009b) Biocultural diversity and indigenous ways of knowing: human ecology in the Arctic. University of Calgary Press, CalgaryGoogle Scholar
  28. Kassam K (2001) North of 60: homeland or frontier. In: A passion for identity: Canadian studies for the 21st century, Scarborough: Nelson Thompson Learning, pp 433–455Google Scholar
  29. Kreutzmann H (2003) Ethnic minorities and marginality in the Pamirian Knot: survival of Wakhi and Kirghiz in a harsh environment and global contexts. Geogr J 169(3):215–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Li WJ, Zhang Q (2009) Jiedu Caoyuan Kunjing: Dui Ganhan Banganhan Caoyuan Liyong he Guanli Ruogan Wenti de Renshi. [Understanding the Grassland Dilemma: several problems on grassland use and management in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas]. Economic Science Press, Beijing.Google Scholar
  31. Li WJ, Huntsinger L (2011) China’s grassland contract policy and its impacts on herder ability to benefit in Inner Mongolia: tragic feedbacks. Ecol Soc 16(2):1, http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol16/iss2/art1/ Google Scholar
  32. Liao C, Barrett C, Kassam K-A (2015) Does diversification improve livelihoods? Pastoral Households in Xinjiang, ChinaGoogle Scholar
  33. Liao C, Sullivan PJ, Barrett CB, Kassam K-A (2014a) Socioenvironmental threats to pastoral livelihoods: risk perceptions in the Altay and Tianshan mountains of Xinjiang, China. Risk Anal 34(4):640–655CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Liao C, Morreale SJ, Kassam K-AS, Sullivan PJ, Fei D (2014b) Following the green: coupled pastoral migration and vegetation dynamics in the Altay and Tianshan mountains of Xinjiang, China. Appl Geogr 46:61–70. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2013.10.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Li J (1991) Xinjiang climate. Beijing: Meteorology PressGoogle Scholar
  36. Longworth J (1993) China’s pastoral region: sheep and wool, minority nationalities, rangeland degradation and sustainable development. CAB International, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  37. Liu JG, Dietz T, Carpenter SR, Folke C, Alberti M, Redman CL, Schneider SH, Ostrom E, Pell AN, Lubchenco J, Taylor WW, Ouyang ZY, Deadman P, Kratz T, Provencher W (2007) Coupled human and natural systems. Ambio 36:639–649Google Scholar
  38. Mi’erzhahan J (2004) Kazak people, 2nd edn. Minzu Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  39. Miller DJ (2000) Tough times for Tibetan Nomads in western China: snowstorms, settling down, fences and the demise of traditional nomadic pastoralism. Nomadic Peoples 4(1):83–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. National Development and Reform Commissions (2011) New policies for returning rangeland to grassland. http://www.sdpc.gov.cn/xwfb/t20110831_431891.htm
  41. Miles MB, Huberman AM (1994) Qualitative data analysis: an expanded sourcebook, 2nd edn. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
  42. Olimova S (2005) Impact of external migration on development of mountainous regions: Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Strategies for development and food security in mountainous areas of Central Asia. In: International workshop, Dushanbe, Tajikistan, June 6–10, 2005Google Scholar
  43. Ostrom E, Dietz T, Dolšak N, Stern PC, Stonich S, Weber EU (2002) The drama of the commons. National Academy Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  44. Patton MQ (1990) Qualitative evaluation and research methods, 2nd edn. Sage, Newbury Park, CAGoogle Scholar
  45. Sandford S (1983) Management of pastoral development in the third world. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  46. Starr S (2004) Xinjian : China’s Muslim borderland. ME Sharpe, ArmonkGoogle Scholar
  47. Toops S (2004) Demographics and development in Xinjiang after 1949Google Scholar
  48. Wang XY, Zhang Q (2012) Climate variability, change of land use and vulnerability in pastoral society: a case from Inner Mongolia. Nomadic Peoples 16(1):68–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wood F (2002) The Silk Road. Folio Society, LondonGoogle Scholar
  50. Wu ZZ, Du W (2008) Pastoral nomad rights in Inner Mongolia. Nomadic Peoples 12(2):13–33Google Scholar
  51. Xinhua (2007a) China’s economic and social development plan. China Daily. Retrieved from http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-03/19/content_830762_2.htm
  52. Xinhua (2007b) Hu Jintao proposes scientific outlook on development for tackling China’s immediate woes, challenges. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-10/15/content_6883135.htm
  53. XLDRC (Xilingol League Development and Reform Commission) (2011) Survey report on the implementation of Xilingol League Beijing-Tianjin sand source control program, 9 Dec 2011. http://www.xlgldrc.gov.cn/gzdt/vzhgggzdt/201112/t20111209_721907.html
  54. XUAR Chorography Committee (2010) Xinjiang Yearbook 2010. Xinjiang Statistical Bureau Press, Urumqi, ChinaGoogle Scholar
  55. Yeh ET (2009) Greening western China: a critical view. Geoforum 40:884–894Google Scholar
  56. Zhang MA, Borjigin E, Zhang H (2007) Mongolian nomadic culture and ecological culture: on the ecological reconstruction in the agro-pastoral mosaic zone in northern China. Ecol Econ 62(1):19–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zhang Q (2012) The dilemma of conserving rangeland by means of development: exploring ecological resettlement in a pastoral township of Inner Mongolia. Nomadic People 16(1):88–115Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Natural Resources and American Indian and Indigenous Studies ProgramCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.School of Natural Resources and EnvironmentUniversity of Michigan - Ann ArborAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.School of EnvironmentBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations