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Summary The Hengduan mountain region of SW China is one of the most important “hotspots” in the northern temperate hemisphere, although since 1950 it has been subject to major degradation, largely as a result of planned tree felling to supply the Chinese economy. Year on year, the excessive clear felling caused major floods, and posed a threat to global climate. Eventually in 1998, after massive flooding, the Chinese government was forced to take drastic measures. A felling ban was introduced in the region, and subsequently a very ambitious programme of Forest Protection, Nature Conservation, Reforestation and “eco-tourism” was introduced and international players (TNC, CI, WWF, GTZ, DFID ) were invited to contribute.. Between May 14th and June 7th 2002 an international team under the aegis of The Nature Conservancy [TNC] & Conservation International [CI] , and led by Dr Earl Saxon, visited the Hengduan Mountain Region [ a transect between Meilixue Shan and Gonggashan ] in order to understand better ; the four ecoregions represented , the interface between land use practices and climate change, and local understanding and perception of TNC in general and nature conservation in particular. Given the very small sample of local people interviewed , their lack of neutrality, and the “ad hoc” nature of the research it was impossible to draw any conclusions about local understanding of nature conservation. The views expressed, however, do represent a “snap shot” (Section 3) which provides a pretext to explore further local attitudes and beliefs , against the background of conceptual theories that underpin nature conservation and environmental perception (Section 2) , in general, & China/Tibet in particular (Appendix 1) The paper concludes (Section 4) by critiquing current research methodologies and suggests further domains of study and indices for monitoring attitudes & perception , by sub-group, over time 1.00 Introduction The purpose of this study was to assess , on an informal and “ad hoc” basis [“not a detailed household survey” ] • the understanding that local people have of nature conservation in general and TNC projects in particular • the expectations local people have of NC/TNC projects

• any negative impacts of NC/TNC projects • any local suggestions to improve NC/TNC projects with a view to providing TNC • with methods for conducting more in-depth community studies [if required], by subgroup • with suitable indices which could be used to monitor attitude and perception over time 1.10 The Nature Conservancy Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been working with communities, businesses and individuals to protect more than 92 million acres around the world. TNC Mission Statement To preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. Their approach • • • •

TNC work closely with communities, businesses and individuals TNC practice sound science that achieves tangible results. The TNC approach is non-confrontational. Over 86% of all funds are used directly for conservation!

Statistics • • • •

Total acres protected by the Conservancy in the United States: 12,621,000 Acres protected by the Conservancy outside the United States: 80,181,446 Current number of Conservancy preserves: 1,400 Conservancy members in 1952: 554 - Conservancy members in 2001: approximately 1 million

1.11 TNC Greater China Programme Working locally with communities, government agencies, academic experts and other partners, The Nature Conservancy is helping protect the magnificent landscapes and ancient traditions of greater China, from the rugged mountains of Yunnan Province to the waters of the South China Sea. •

• •

The Chinese government invited the Conservancy to join in the creation of an integrated conservation and economic-development project in the northwest corner of Yunnan Province. Approximately 15,000 plant species are native to Yunnan Province, including more than 450 species of rhododendron and azalea. The Conservancy works with the Chinese government to train staff for nature reserves protecting nearly 2 million acre

1.12 TNC Yunnan Projects

The Nature Conservancy's Yunnan Great Rivers Project lies in northwest Yunnan Province, where one finds some of Asia's last untouched forests as well as lush valleys, precipitous river gorges and rugged, ice-capped mountains. Fourteen of China's 55 ethnic minorities, including the Naxi and Yi peoples, live within the project area, which is twice the size of Taiwan. Location Yunnan Province, in southern China, borders Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar (Burma). Here, four of the world's major rivers - the Yangtze, Mekong Salween and Irawaddy - pass within 55 miles (89 kilometers) of each other. Animals Yunnan Province provides habitat for at least 30 endangered animals, including: • • •

Snow and clouded leopards Red (lesser) panda Yunnan golden monkey

More than 800 species of resident and migratory birds have been recorded in Yunnan Province. Approximately 450 species live or migrate through the Yunnan Great Rivers Project area, a number just shy of 5 percent of the world's total. Species include: • • • • •

Black-necked crane Chinese pond heron Tibetan snowcock Great spotted woodpecker White-eared pheasant

Plants Approximately 15,000 plant species are native to Yunnan Province. Almost half of those are represented in the Yunnan Great Rivers Project area, including: • • • •

More than 160 species of rhododendron and azalea Chinese hemlock Mottled bamboo Yunnan pine

The Conservancy's project area in northwest Yunnan is one of the most vital centers of plant diversity in the northern temperate hemisphere. More than 40 percent of the plants used in traditional Chinese medicine and 75 percent of those used in traditional Tibetan medicine are represented. Chinese officials, aware of the area's natural and cultural significance, have targeted Yunnan for increased tourism development. But if development is not regulated and monitored, it will pose a significant threat to this incredible diversity of flora and fauna. Unsustainable fuel-wood collection, expanding agriculture and over-harvesting of plants and animals continue to threaten the survival of the region's wildlife and ecosystems.

During the first phase of the Yunnan Great Rivers Project, the Conservancy collaborated with Chinese scientists, government officials and other partners to develop a "Conservation and Development Action Plan" for northwest Yunnan. The Conservancy has also facilitated crosscultural exchanges between natural-resource experts in the United States and government officials in China. Several study tours enabled Chinese government officials to learn about models of cultural and natural-resource management in Ecuador, Mexico and the United States. Guided by the development action plan, the Conservancy identified five action sites on which to focus conservation efforts during the second phase of the project. Two are highlighted below. Through the Lashihai/Wenhai Community-Based Resource Management Pilot Project, the Conservancy is working with local governments and the Naxi and Yi people of the Lashihai and Wenhai villages to develop community-based ecotourism. The project also encourages sustainable management of fisheries and is expanding the use of alternative energy sources. in the Meili Snow Mountains (Meilixueshan), an area of extraordinary biodiversity straddling the Yunnan-Tibet border, the Conservancy has initiated the Meilixueshan Conservation Project, a long-term partnership with the Deqin County government. The partners are developing a comprehensive plan to guide conservation and development in the mountains for the next 100 years. 1.13 Conservation International Conservation International believes that the earth’s natural heritage must be maintained if future generations are to thrive spiritually, culturally and economically Mission Statement To conserve the Earth’s living natural heritage, our global biodiversity, and to demonstrate that human societies are able to live harmoniously with nature Conservation International is a U.S.-based, international organization, that is nonprofit, and has tax-exempt status. It applies innovations in science, economics, policy and community participation to protect the Earth's richest regions of plant and animal diversity in the hotspots, major tropical wilderness areas and key marine ecosystems. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., CI works in more than 30 countries on four continents. 1.20 The Hengduan Mountain Region The Hengduan Mountain Region of Southwest China (subsequently referred to as “the region”) represents one of the most unique biological regions on earth. Lying at the eastern end of the Himalaya , between the Qinghai-Xizhang [Tibetan] Plateau and the central plain of China. These spectacular north-south mountain ridges sandwiched between deep river gorges contain the most diverse vascular plant flora of any region of comparable size in the temperate zone, and almost half of China’s flowering plant species. Identified as one of twenty five biodiversity “hotspots” on earth (Myers 1988), this vast region, covering ca 645,000 sq km, contains over 12,000 species of vascular plants, with almost 3,500 endemic species and at least 20 endemic genera. Although some botanical exploration has been conducted, the region has never been fully inventoried because of the sensitive political environment and the rugged terrain makes much of the area difficult to traverse.

The Region constitutes about 5% of China’s land area, and includes parts of eastern Xizang (Tibet), western Sichuan and northern Yunnan, comprising the following mountain ranges :Shaluli shan, Taniantaweng shan, Nu shan, Goligong shan, Daxue Shan, Qionglai Shan & Min Shan. Elevations range from 1000m to over 7556m at the summit of Gongga Shan in western Sichuan, with a mean elevation of ca 3500m. Four of Asia’s largest rivers [ Yangtze, Mekong, Salween & Brahmaputra flow through the region. All of these rivers originate on the 5000m high Qinghai-Zizang (Tibetan) plateau, and far downstream, all are of great economic importance to the people who live along them. The rapidly increasing exogenous impact on the region threatens not only the diversity of flora & fauna, but also the survival of indigenous cultures that define much of southeast Asia. Although much of the region is peopled by Khamba Tibetans , the area is both culturally and ethnically diverse with more than ten ethnic groups calling the region their home. These groups include the Naxi, Bai, Pumi, Mosuo, Lisu, Yi, Miao [or Hmong], Nu, Dulong & Dai. A brief glimpse at the dominant Tibetan culture illustrates the richly textured traditions which characterize the region. The region bears the strong imprint of all three Tibetan religious traditions [Tibetan Buddhism, Bon & Mi chos (See Samual 1993 Stein 1972 )], which is displayed in large temple complexes, chortens, prayer flags, festivals, oracles and numina associated with sacred landscape features (Ramble & Braun 1993). Sacred mountains punctuate the landscape and they are unique in that they remain uncut (Stevens 1993 1997 Studley 99c). Although more ethnobotanical research has been done in the region, compared to the rest of China, little research has been conducted on customary nature conservation practices, linguistic ecology, environmental perception, or the impact of proposed landscape use changes on the local people. 1.21 Environmental degradation The region was subject to large-scale clear felling beginning in the 1950’s . The forests were among the most extensive (300,000 sq km) in the whole country. in 1950, when they were designated China’s “second timber production base” and subsequently in 1956 when macroscale timber production enterprises were established all the region suffered from indiscriminate felling (Richardson 1990, Li 1993). The majority of the destruction was not caused by population pressure, or “criminal elements”, or local farmers, and it did not mostly occur “40 years ago to fuel backyard steel furnaces of Chairman Mao’s ill fated Great Leap Forward” (Fred Pearce 1999 Li Dewen 1999 pers. com.). It was caused by “planned” commercial timber extraction based on government quotas (Li & Zhang 1985 Smil 1984, Winkler 1998). The forests of the region have never been officially managed on a sustainable basis, and most of them lack a management plan or any form of monitoring (Richardson 1990). Timber was not only required for China’s booming economy, but it was often the most important source of cash revenue for local administrations, enabling them to fund education health & infrastructure. State forest enterprises were required to sell a minimum timber quota which was often as much as 3 times the sustainable yield, at a price that was often below production costs (Winkler 1998). To compensate for this they sold even more timber on the free market. As a result in some areas annual felling was four times more than the sustainable yield. As a result :- Forest cover in Tibet AR has fallen from 9 % (1950) to 5 % (1985), in Yunnan from 55 % (1950's) to 30 % (1975), and in Sichuan from 30% (1950) to 6.5% (1998). (Li Zhixi and He Qiang 1995 pers com, Pomfret 1998, Winkler 1998). Some of the most disquieting reports on deforestation come from Sichuan and Yunnan Province.

Deforestation in the most accessible parts of the region (mostly Aba Prefecture) began in the late 1950's, and although Sichuan did lose one tenth of its growing stock (or 1.24 Mha) during the Great Leap Forward (1958-61) this was mostly in the East. Deforestation accelerated in Aba Prefecture in the late 1960's, when it supplied up to 84% of Sichuan’s timber quota. It was not until the 1980's and 1990's , when most of Aba’s forests were depleted (It only supplied 15% of Sichuan’s total quota in 1980) that large scale deforestation spread into the main Yangtse catchment in Kham. The forests of Kham comprise ca 95% of forest land found in the “headwaters of the Yangtse”, and their destruction , from the 1980's appears to be paralleled by an almost annual occurrence of environmental destruction (Studley 1999 Wang Hongchang undated Smil 1984) in theory the 104 state forest areas of Western Sichuan should have only felled 760,000 m3 a year to be sustainable , but they have exceeded 2m m3, year on year (Smil 1984) Logging, clearing of forest for cultivation, expansion of pastures and forest fires have so seriously upset the ecosystem in the mountainous prefectures of Western Sichuan that environmentalists fear that the Yangtze whose tributaries drain the prefectures, will become as bad as the Yellow River. of the provinces 139 counties only 12 now have forest covering more than 30 percent of the land, 22 have between 20 and 30 percent, but 91 have less than 10 percent, and 14 counties have less than one percent. Yunnan still ranks fourth in China, in terms of total timber resources, but in relative terms the province’s deforestation has been even more extensive than in Sichuan, and its loss of forest land appears to be by far the worst in China. in the early 1950's about 55 percent of Yunnan was covered by forests, but by 1975, it had dropped to 30 percent, and annual wood consumption was double the growth rate To make matters worse , all over the region , large scale clear felling was widely practised, tree planting to tree felling ratios were very low (1:10) tree seedling survival rates of less than 30% were common (Dong 1985, He 1991), less than 40% of woody biomass was utilized and only about 7% of milling wastes were utilized (Smil 1993). 1.23 Felling Ban and new policies Following the very serious flooding in 1998 China introduced a felling ban (See Studley 1999a 1999d ) and subsequently instituted a large scale programme of :- Natural Forest Protection, Nature Conservation, Reforestation, and “ecotourism”. [Some areas make as much money from tourism as they made from logging]. Since the felling has ceased the importance, to local wellbeing, and environmental threat, of firewood, fodder and “minor forest product” demand has been realised. The change of land use and erosion of customary rights, is already posing a threat to forest grazing and concern is being expressed by local farmers over future sources of firewood & fodder. 1.30 Climate change The adoption of the Kyoto Protocol [UN 1997] calling for a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions demonstrates a consensus emerging among scientists and policy makers that climate change is one of the most serious environmental challenges facing the world today. The Tibetan plateau has a fundamental impact on both regional and global climatic patterns. As the multiple causes of the widespread destruction of Tibets forests and grasslands are unveiled, the effects continue to trigger environmental, social & economic crises (Derbyshire & Gasse

1996). Ecosystems do not exist in isolation and consequently these effects are not confined to the region. The Tibetan plateau towers over the Eurasian landmass deflecting the jet streams in the upper atmosphere influencing the atmospheric circulation of the northern hemisphere. The plateau is a critical player in global climate stability and has an especially important influence on the Indian monsoon. With the help of computer modelling up to 29 indicators have been identified which help predict the formation of monsoons. Two important indicators are the jet stream patterns and the amount of snow cover on the Tibetan plateau. The amount of snow cover is partially determined by the amount of forest and grass cover, but more specifically any reduction in vegetation, increases albedo [ the fraction of solar energy (shortwave radiation) reflected from the Earth back into space] which delays rates of snow melt during the spring (Reiter 1993) Green forest cover absorbs 95% of solar energy, clear-felled areas and grasslands absorb 80% while barren land and rock even less. Forested areas not only break up snow cover but retain heat. As the plateau’s ability to absorb solar heat is crippled by deforestation, and pasture degradation, snow disasters are exacerbated (Studley 1999a 1999c) & snow melt is delayed. Due to the delay in snow melt, the heating mechanisms of the plateau diminish, and through a series of interconnections the pressure systems are altered which delay or reduce the Indian monsoon. The disruption of the monsoon is potentially disastrous for Indian agriculture ( Zheng & Wu 1995). in 1998, for example, the erratic behaviour of the monsoon [unexpected rains & drought] caused extensive damage to crops, resulting in escalating food prices, and extreme hardship As the heating capabilities of the plateau are delayed jet stream patterns that affect the entire northern hemisphere are altered, and wind currents are deflected and compressed over thousands of kilometres (Reiter 1981 1993). A correlation has, for example, been established between extended snow cover in Tibet and not only heavy rainfall in the Yangtze basin but high sea temperatures over the North Atlantic, resulting in sunshine in Europe and typhoons in the Pacific. When the typhoons in the Pacific interrupt the trade winds off the West Coast of North & South America, they may cause el nino, which is seemingly responsible for disruption and storms in Peru, Ecuador & California and possibly droughts in New Zealand, Indonesia, Australia, India & southern Africa. It would appear that alterations to the Tibetan plateau’s vegetation cover play a role in generating regional climatic disruptions which have the potential to dovetail into global climatic change 2.00 The Human Dimension of Nature Conservation Since the earth summit (1992) , there has been increasing recognition that vernacular land use practices do not necessarily threaten the environment. Local peoples have, on the basis of indigenous knowledge, environmentally adaptive and sensitive land use and resource management practices have inhabited their homelands for centuries without devastating their ecosystems or biodiversity (Stevens 1997). Consequently both international conservationists and indigenous peoples have begun to realize the value of new alliances, and partnerships. More

recent and innovative environmental strategies not only create ways of keeping local communities in their traditional lands, but facilitate customary land use practices. Not all customary practices, however, are sustainable, and there are some limitations to indigenous conservation practice. Where this occurs there is a need for conflict resolution and dialogue, based on mutual respect and synergy between endogenous and exogenous practices. There are a number of specific examples in the ethnographic literature, of the ways, people living in the region have used their environmental resources in careful and sustainable ways, and how their traditional belief systems served to foster and strengthen environmental protection. In common with the Sherpa Tibetan villages (Stevens 1993 1997) , most Khamba Tibetan villages in the region have a designated sacred mountain characterized by explicit protection and as result are havens of biodiversity, and thick forest. Tibetans appear to recognize several different categories of forest stewardship from sacred /untouched to unmanaged/overexploited. Although the links between Tibetan Buddhism and nature conservation are close they appear to be closer and more dynamic between folk belief (mi chos) and nature conservation (Studley 99c). The association of numina with landscape features [trees groves, water resources] ensures their conservation. Historic Tibetan herding practices were also carefully regulated in order to avoid over-grazing, by not exceeding carrying capacity and moving the herds 3 or 4 times a year (Goldstein & Beall 89a 89b 91, Ekvall 1968 1974 Wu Ning 1998 ) Since the 1950’s when livestock ownership became communal, restrictions were put on movement, sedentarisation and population transfer were encouraged, and carrying capacity was exceeded, the pastures year on year have become increasingly degraded. Although livestock ownership has been restored to family ownership, the degradation is so severe it will take many years to restore the balance. The gathering and documentation of traditional land use patterns, and the underlying values systems and perception, is essential if it is to be reinfused as the basis of a platform to develop synergy with institutional and exogenous conservation practices. If we do not include the human and cultural dimension in nature conservation, the management process will not work, frequently leading to conflict with the local people, who may well sabotage any protected areas. This is especially the case when people have been forcibly moved from newly designated protected areas. Experience has shown that relocating the people is an expensive non-solution, and often creates anger, and often hastens social and physical destruction of local people. It is important to recognize that many of the worlds biodiversity hotspots are anthropogenic landscapes, based on linguistic ecologies. Many of the alpine meadows in the Hengduan Mountain region represent hundreds of years of grazing activity, fire management , fuel/fodder/medicinal plant collecting etc. Ecology shows that a variety of forms is a prerequisite for biological survival. Monocultures are vulnerable and easily destroyed and plurality in linguistic and cultural diversity functions in the same way (Pattanayak 1988 Read & Miller 1993). This reinforces the importance of maintaining local people in their traditional homelands perpetuating their cultural and linguistic landscapes. 2.01 Environmental Perception : Theories & Concepts

In recent decades changes in the natural environment have been at the focus of public opinion and scientific, social, economic & political attention (Pawlik 1991 Stern 1992) Coherent with this interest a body of research has developed in environmental psychology and anthropology addressing attitudes towards the natural environment and more generally the concept or “nature1” itself ( Dietz et al 1998 Knopf 1987 Wohlwill 1983 Colfer 1996 Bruun & Kalland 1995 Smith 2001 Merchant 1989 Soule & Lease 1995). Much of the current literature engaging with the concept of nature views it as a contested social construction [Darier 1999 Escobar 1996] where struggles over meaning are as important as livelihood struggles [Gramsci 1971] This has been in the light of global political-economic restructuring and warnings of ecological catastrophe and cultural crisis ( Castree & Braun 1998 Reid 1995) juxtaposed with a “culture of denial” about nature and an education system that reinforces unsustainable values and practices [Bowers 1999 Sterling 2001]. The recognition that “nature” is no longer everywhere , limitless and externally available to capitalist actors has led to a shift whereby nature has become an accumulation strategy for capital (Katz 1998) Within this strategy nature is no longer separate from social and cultural processes (Macnaughten & Urry 1998) and there is “no one nature” any longer ( Harre et al 1999). It cannot be separated off into its own ontological space ( Castree & Braun 1998) and as such should be studied as part of wider political-economic and technological changes. While some have argued that the change [or shift] in environmental perception from an emphasis on natural science to one that included social & psychological science represents a “new” environmental paradigm2 (Kuhn 1962 Catton & Dunlap 1980, Dunlap and van Liere 1978 ,) others have attempted to measure the “shift” or patterns of conception (Geller & Lasley 1985).

2.01 Critique of the new paradigm Both the “new” paradigm and the early research was criticized for its lack of attention to variables in the processes of attitude formation and the weak relationship in many studies between pro-environmental attitudes and behaviour ( Fuhrer 1995 Dietz et al 1998). Recent contributors (Stern et al 1994, 1995a 1995b) have tried to develop a broader model which addresses the sequential process of attitude formation, the correlation between attitude and behaviour, the significance [as related constructs] of identity , attachment and territory ( Giuliani in press) , stake-holder or “actor” analysis, and “cross-cultural” issues(Seeland nd) 2.02 Attitudes & Behaviour Values are a central aspect in determining pro-environmental attitudes and behaviour but an “ecocentric” and “anthropocentric” distinction must be made in order to discover any significant correlation between attitude and behaviour. ( Gagnon-Thompson & Barton 1994 Eckersley 1992) 2.03 Perception & cognition Research into the perceptual domain of any resource management regime must address attitudes towards nature, cognitive models and the philosophical, religious, ethical, symbolic and experimental dimensions of environment and culture

Humankind does not react to the real world in real time, but to a cognised environment filtered through traditional expectations and worldviews. We depend on mental maps or cognitive models to understand our world and socio-cultural factors often influence the congruence of our maps with the actual environment (Kaplan & Kaplan 1982 McGovern et al 1988) Researchers continue to discover new “linguistic ecologies” that often demonstrate an environmental ethic, sophisticated indigenous systems that enhance biodiversity , and a coevolutionary relationship between humankind and the environment. In spite of this many natural resource managers still fail to perceive the anthropogenic nature of these landscapes, because they appear to lack an appropriate mental map or suffer from information flow “pathologies” ( McGovern et al 1988) As a result they underestimate or misinterpret the role of indigenous people in nature conservation and are often unable to process local ecological knowledge (IUCN 1997 Richardson et al 1996 Posey nd UNESCO 1994 Lee 1992) 2.04 Identity & Place Attachment Large scale environmental transformation (Nature reserves, Natural Forest Protection, Reforestation) can affect local peoples attitudes, “place identity3” and “place attachment4” because of strong “territorial” implications when imposed by “outsiders” [e.g. national or supra-national authorities], and a perceived lack of local “control” and “discontinuity” (Fried 2000) Sometimes specific groups of local people will manifest negative attitudes and opposition towards the authorities, especially if there is a perceived political threat to local identity, leading to violence (Camboni 1991). Others are able to react (as a coping strategy) to threats to their identity and loss of control by increasing their level of identification with their own group, and by increasing group cohesion, and place attachment ( Brewer & Brown 1998 Fried 2000). It is important when planning and implementing major land use change to address the human dimension, by not only addressing local perception, attitudes, identity and place attachment, but through the use of inclusive participatory management approaches. 2.05 Stake-holders The acceptance and success of nature reserves are very dependent on the local communities perception of, and identification with them. Around each nature reserve, however, there are a variety of stakeholders [or actors ] often holding very disparate views, values and interests. The cultural context of each new reserve must be considered, in the context of each actor sub-group, in order to ensure success and cooperation. 3.00 Results & Discussion 3.01 Survey Methods 5 people were interviewed [3 in Minyong {M} [Tibetans] and 2 in Hailougou (H) [Han/Yi]] only 2 were neutral - others received remuneration as a direct result of NC/Tourism They were asked :- what they understood by the term nature conservation - what they thought of the project (Mingyong) - what were the benefits/their expectations of Nature Conservation/Tourism

- what was the impact of Nature Conservation/Tourism - any suggestions they had for Nature Conservation/Tourism Most interviewees were better at making suggestions than providing an understanding of nature conservation or TNC 3.02 Understanding of Nature Conservation /TNC projects General Broadly speaking those interviewed were supportive of NC and/or the project - but were unable to give many reasons - although flood prevention was mentioned Some typical comments included :we are in a hotspot conservation is important protection is important for development conservation is a good idea Sacred Geography & Nature Conservation The peoples of Minyong were much more aware of sacred geography than in Hailougou, although they articulated it mostly in relationship to a major mountain deity [Kawa Garpo] and did not mention the presence of any local numina [eg Lu] 3.03 Comments and Suggestions [ from interviewees] Education [M] Education is needed – both society and government are money orientated with a short-term view - education and a long term view required for sustainable development Environment and Development [M] Both environmental and tourism development are important Tourism [M] A potential conflict might arise if tourists want to see livestock at low elevations in summer leading to destruction of habitats Tourism should be developed in such a way that it brings benefit to the government and local people in the long term A proposed cable car plan was not considered compatible with the environment Firewood [M] There is a need to protect the forest and address firewood demand. Concern was expressed about both firewood and green manure availability next year It was reported that one household [6 people] required 1000kg of firewood

a year [ it is hard to reconcile this figure with the literature (eg Li 1993) and other reports [Tang pers comm.] Electricity [M] One respondent was concerned about his perceived causal link between the introduction of electricity and glacial retreat [He described how that glacial retreat coincided with the introduction of electricity in the 60’s, remained stationary in the 70’s when there was no electricity, and retreated again, when electricity was re-introduced in the 1990’s. Because of glacial retreat current electricity supplies in Mingyong do not present a threat to the glacier, although apparently the supply to the temple does] Horse Money [M] One respondent wanted a fairer way [based on family size] of receiving horse rental Walkway [M] The walkway above the glacier was not regarded [from a sacred perspective] as an alien intervention, requiring the propitiation of Kawa Garpo, especially as it prevented tourists from urinating on the glacier [which is considered sacred].

Road [Minyong] The road should have been built through lower Minyong - because all the tourists pass by Landslide Problem [Minyong] There is a natural lake and potential landslide threat above Minyong which prevents development Economic Trees [H] Government could help local people more by facilitating the planting of more economic trees 3.04 Benefits of Nature Conservation [H & M] The benefits were mostly described in terms of employment - although it was recognized that most of the income from Hailougou goes to outsiders and the local people are not much better off than before [hunting and tree cutting] Respondents felt the government should do more to help local people 3.05 Impact of Nature Conservation/Tourism Those interviewed [H] thought that most of the impacts of tourism [including socio-cultural] were positive - one comment [by a Yi] "The Yi people are cleaner than before" 3.06 Discussion Sacred Geography Although those interviewed in Mingyong and Hailougou were not able to articulate their understanding of sacred geography in any detail , there is evidence from the literature (Samuel 1993 Stein 1972 Ramble & Braun 1993) and research conducted in the region (Studley et al 1995

Studley 1999c) of mountain divinities, local protector divinities and numina associated with specific forest, trees, rocks etc On the basis of the global literature, explicit environmental protection is often embedded in folk religious systems, whereas it is more symbolic or secondary in “high” religions (Seeland 1993 Kellert 1991 1995) . These findings resonate with research in the region (Studley et al 1995 Studley 1999c) where there appears to be much closer perceptual proximity between Tibetan folk religion [mi chos] and nature conservation, than Tibetan Buddhism [lha chos] and nature conservation. Unfortunately no comparisons could be made with Mingyong because the PRA (Anon 2000) did not attempt to disaggregate data on the basis of the three recognized Tibetan religious systems. All three systems however , include resources which can be used as the basis of endogenous nature conservation strategies. Ideally PRA studies should include anthropologists, sociologists, and linguists in addition to natural scientists. Indigenous pasture management Historically livestock in the region were moved several times a year, and population levels were maintained to ensure optimum “carrying capacity”, preventing environmental degradation, and to provide a buffer in case of snow disasters.(See Goldstein & Beal 1989a+b 1991) Given the erosion of indigenous livestock husbandry knowledge since the 1950’s, its current status in the region is uncertain. To ensure the sustainable management of pasture lands predicated on local knowledge further study is suggested to supplement the existing literature (eg Wu Ning 1998) . Firewood Although in parts of Deqin County the firewood situation may not be critical [Moseley pers comm.], due to the potential for alternatives [such a biogas], there appears to be local demand. Oak forests close to Mingyong are at substantial risk, and community decisions to restrict fuel wood collection have transferred the pressure to the upper slopes of Failaishi. There is local concern about future supplies of firewood and fodder Whatever the demand in Deqin County the overall statistics for Yunnan suggest that measures to secure the subsistence base for firewood and fodder are required. On the basis of Yunnan Forestry Department data (pers comm. 2001) Fuel wood Plantations comprise 604,600 ha or 5.1% of total forest with a standing volume of 35.9m cubic metres (2.8% of total). Forest supply is 11.37 mT/yr or say 11.37m cubic metres and demand is 26.56mT/yr or say 26.56m cub metres. The net demand is 15.19mT or 15.19m cub metres (which is currently collected from Natural Protected forest or nature reserves). in order to match supply with demand, as things currently stand, an estimated 2m ha5 of fuel wood forest are required to supply 15.19 cub metres on a sustainable basis If as a result of the Forestry 10th 5-year plan for Yunnan , the Rural energy programme reduces demand by 15% and the fuel wood programme increases supply by 720,000 cub metres per annum, the estimate shortfall after 5 years will still be in the order of 10.5 m cubic metres, which would require a further 1.5m ha5 of fuel wood plantation. Quite apart from population growth if YFB wants to match fuel wood supply with demand , and reduce demand from protected forest & natures reserves , on a sustainable basis, a much larger fuel wood programme appears to be required.

Alien Interventions and propitiation Although the introduction of electricity, in Mingyong, did appear to be an “alien intervention” that “upset” the mountain divinity Kawa Garpo (causing the glacier to melt) , the introduction of the walkway above the Mingyong glacier did not appear to present any problem, and did not require any sort of propitiation. It is not unusual in a rural Asian context for new interventions to pose a threat to local divinities. A smokeless stove programme and a check dam programme in NW Nepal, both nearly failed, because Western technical experts failed to recognize the presence of local numina who felt threatened. Similarly when bridge builders in Nepal lost their lives it was regarded as a means of propitiating the river numina.

Impact of Tourism Although those interviewed did not consider that tourism is a threat, this is very difficult to reconcile with much of the literature which does link tourism with cultural or ethnic erosion, especially in China (Norberg-Hodge 1992, Li 1994, Li & Hinch 1998, Swain 1989, McLaren 1998) 4.00 Research Review A number of research methods have been adopted to understand environmental perception and attitudes in general and landscape change & nature conservation in particular. 4.01 Research methods Some of the following research (social & anthropological) methods have been used :a) Participatory Rural Appraisal (Chambers 1994 Moris & Copestake 1993) for cross-cultural views of biosphere reserves [Wallner 2001] b) Cognitive mapping [based on] - Multidimension scaling – in Riemann or metric space (Woelfel & Fink 1980 Woelfel & Barnett 1982) and/or - Hierarchical cluster analysis – in the form of a dendrogram (Aldenderfer & Blasfield 1984) for environmental perception (Kaplan & Kaplan 1982), forest perception [Colfer et al 1996 Studley 99c] and institutional cognitive models [Richardson et al 1996] c) Free lists to identify objects and concepts used by a people group for a given cognitive domain (Weller & Romney 1988) for species lists (Chandler 1990) d) Rating scales (Brown & Daniel 1990, Schroeder 1984) and check lists for measuring satisfaction levels, attitudes and behaviour towards urban green areas and natural protected areas [Bonnes et al 2001, 2002] e) Text (Scott 1998) and artificial neural network analysis (Woelfel 1993 TRC 1993a and 1993b ) to identify patterns of association (collocates) in landscape preference and forest importance studies (Cary 1995 Studley 99c) 4.02 Suggested research required Given the differing views among local and international stakeholders ( Colfer 1995), and considerable diversity in ecological cognition between Natural Resource institutions (Richardson et al 1996) a cross-cultural analysis of the human dimension should be a prerequisite prior and during the establishment of any new nature reserve. This should address some/all of the following [by sub-group or stake-holder] • Concepts of nature and nature conservation

Value-charged discourses and their role in the shaping and changing of attitudes towards nature • Environmental philosophy and ethics • Environment and well-being • Environmental perception • Indigenous Nature Conservation practices • Environmental activism • Nature Reserve use and underlying motivations • Attitudes towards specific nature reserves [dis/satisfaction] • Attitudes to specific interventions • Evaluations of the impact of Nature Reserves on local populations • The local populations experience of handling new situations • Studies addressing changes in identity and place attachment • A socio-cultural impact monitoring system and indicators [GIS] (University of Oslo nd, Wallner 2001, Bonnes et al 2001) 4.03 GIS & Monitoring Attitudes It should prove possible to plot (as a result of regular field surveys) Linkert means, by sub-group, of attitudes, identity and place attachment , and monitor any significant change over time and in response to changes or interventions 5 Recommendations Nature Conservation : attitudes & perception That TNC initiates detailed socio-anthropological research (outlined above) in all existing and planned TNC project areas Deetsa Wilderness area It is suggested that TNC contact Yajiang Tourism Department with a view to exploring the potential of the Deetsa Wilderness area. Deetsa is a relatively unspoilt "Wilderness" area of Southern Yajiang County, that is so remote the Forestry Bureau was unable to log the area. [The author of this report was approached by the Director of Tourism [Yajiang County] who is seeking assistance with establishing a reserve. The Director has been asked, initially to prepare a 1 page proposal (Contact detail : Ci Lie Qu Zha, Yajiang Tourism Department, Yajiang, Ganzi Prefecture, Sichuan 627450 Mob 13990473303 Tel 86 836 5124569)] Other Research That TNC considers research into • “cultural resources” that can be used to enhance endogenous nature conservation • the status of firewood & fodder demand and supply in its project areas • the status of indigenous livestock husbandry knowledge • landscape change & divinity appeasement (propitiation) • the impact of eco-tourism on local culture 6 References Aldenderfer M & Blashfield R, 1984, Cluster Analysis: Quantitative Applications in The Social Sciences -Series 44, Beverley Hills, Sage Publications

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APPENDIX 1 – NATURE, PERCEPTION & BEHAVIOUR A1.00 Nature In discussing “nature” we are dealing with a very complex Western concept that has a complicated repertoire of meanings (Lewis 1960). On the basis of complex Greek and Latin roots, it has been moulded into a single multifaceted concept which finds a variety of uses and is still in a process of change. Recurring intervals of romanticism have given it much of its flavour. If we investigate “nature” or “landscape” they refer not only to physical aspects of earth, but abstract space containing a variety of ideas and principles, defying easy definition (See Williams 1976). We differentiate nature by means of accurate definitions, classes and systems, including shapes and colours, but attribute to it meanings and emotions. Accordingly concepts like nature may be seen as anthropocentric and subjective tools of the mind in the pursuit of order among apparent chaos. Asian concepts of nature6 are no less complex than their western counterparts. When dealing with comparisons between literary expressions of nature in China and the West, we run the risk of comparing dissimilar classificatory, or cognitive, spaces for which highly different terminologies are used. in such cross-cultural comparison a basic consideration should be semantics, syntax and noun typology of the languages concerned (See Hansen 1983). Chinese perception of what belongs to “nature” , however is not totally different from ours. When used in a pure, material sense (like virgin landscape, wild animals, and hidden marine environments) it is understood in terms comparable with those of the West. Local and material concepts of nature (eg 自然 zi4 ran2 meaning “that which comes of itself”, stressing spontaneity in the natural surroundings) appear to share at least one meaning with western use of the concept. The closer, however we get to the zone where nature and culture blend, the sharper the differences are in a cross-cultural perspective. (See Bruun & Kalland 1995)] A1.01Perception and behaviour in environmental studies it has commonly been assumed that there exists a fundamental connection between a society’s management of natural resources and its perception of nature. For instance , ecological and environmental problems in the West have been accredited to sixteenth & seventeenth century views of man’s mastery of nature, exemplified in the works of Francis Bacon, John Locke & Rene Descartes. Their works revived the Greco-Roman atomistic view of nature (See Callicott 1989 Capra 1982 Merchant 1989), and represented a departure from Judeo-Christian thought (Kinsley 1995) rather than the basis for it (White 1967). One of the roots for the present deep concern for nature in the western world is apparently the growing awareness of the inadequacies of the Cartesian worldview, in which an intensified

dichotomy of reality separated subject from object, culture from nature, and cultural sciences from natural sciences. More precisely, both sciences and popular ideologies have come to question the division between “science for people & science for nature” . With the challenged western paradigms, an entirely new ecological paradigm is frequently called for , a paradigm where “man” and “environment” no longer are seen as separate and opposite entities but where “organisms and environment form part of one another” (See Dickens 1992 Catton & Dunlap 1978 1980) A1.02 Non-western perception Scientists and laymen have searched for new inspiration from outside western traditions. A large body of literature offers alternative worldviews to the prevailing western ones: usually depicting man as an integral part of nature instead of being separated from it and trying to dominate it. They portray man and environment as a harmonious unity of mutual respect, complementarity and symbiosis, their views are holistic-organic rather than atomistic-mechanistic as in the industrial West (Callicott and Ames 1989) The perception of nature found among indigenous peoples and tribal societies have provided us with a range of alternative paradigms, that appear to include examples of explicit environmental protection (Seeland 1986). These views, however have been commonly marketed for ideological ends and thus become entangled with a continuing critique of western culture. Native American beliefs, for instance, greatly inspired the founders of Greenpeace, who saw themselves as Rainbow Warriors, who according to Cree tradition, “would teach the white man reverence for the earth” (Brown & May 1991) By the same token, Asian perceptions, particularly as they are articulated in Daoism & Fengshui (and Buddhism and Hinduism), have been extensively used for similar purposes. in popular literature on ecology, allusions to Asian philosophies as a remedy for environmental ills are widespread. While natural scientists have repeatedly pointed to parallels between the new physics and biology and eastern philosophies, others with only a rudimentary understanding of Oriental cultures, to the more sophisticated proponents of “deep ecology” have incorporated Asian paradigms more or less uncritically into their worldviews. An underlying assumption in much of this work is that Asian cosmologies have made Asian peoples more successful than others in taking care of nature (Bruun & Kalland 1995) One enduring western stereotypes in environmental literature is the idea that Classical Eastern knowledge systems promote a sense of harmony and respect between humankind and nature1. On the other side of the stereotype stand the knowledge systems of the West which; are morally inferior, environmentally insensitive, promote the separation of human beings and nature, and encourage acts of domination, exploitation and control (See Soule 1995). There are good reasons to think, however, that this is not the whole picture. in a remarkable article , Kellert (1995) has given clear statistical shape to the suspicion that Eastern cultures are just as capable of showing disrespect for nature as their Western counterparts. . in a UNEP survey (Eckel 1997), for example, Japan rated “lowest in environmental concern and awareness” of fourteen countries surveyed. Researchers doing fieldwork in Asia have noticed that local philosophies and cosmologies seem to have had little effect in preventing the over-exploitation of soils, over-grazing, erosion, deforestation, water pollution and other environmental disasters, which threaten a number of Asian societies (Simmons 1989 Totman 1989 Kellert 1995)]]]

The stereotype vision of Tibet as the land of non-violence, meditation and “green values” appears to be a construct predicated mostly on the “western romance and idealization of affluent, disenchanted Europeans and Americans” (JK Kearney 1998). Tibetan Buddhism7 & Bon8, are not insensitive to the claims of the natural world, but there is more of an emphasis on the purification of the mind, and the doctrine of emptiness as a pre-requisite for even considering an ethical response to the natural world (Eckel in Tucker & Williams 1997). Western romantic notions of Tibetans have become so pervasive that Tibetans in exile have started to adopt the Westerners idealizations and re-fashion the image of Tibetan culture (D Lopez Jr 1998, Korom 1997). One example is the emergence from the mid 1980's of environmentally-correct “Green” values, because the government-in-exile was advised by foreign supporters that by becoming “green” they would gain international sympathy for their cause (T Huber in Korom 1995). in Scorsese’s film “Kundun” we are told that “Tibetans have practised non-violence for over a thousand years”, when in fact from 763 to 1970's state violence continued to be sanctioned by Buddhist authorities, and by the “Great Fifth” (Dalai Lama), between 1617-1682, to unify the country (Sperling 1998) in general terms, Asian perceptions of nature have not operated in prevention of massive pollution, destruction of natural resources and environmental disasters. The economies of Asia have with their formidable growth rates have simultaneously produced toxic wastes causing political problems at home and abroad. Both India and China have experienced massive erosion and flooding due to state exploitation of forest. China’s booming economy has driven the natural environment to the edge of disaster, the extent of which can only be concealed by a heavy state monopoly on information. Such reality does not resonate with notions of the “ecological Oriental”. This seeming paradox has been explained in various ways. Some want us to believe that environmental disasters are new to Asia and their environmental treatment can be attributed to the dominant Western paradigm, the “intellectual colonization of the East by the West”, and expanding populations. (Watanbe 1975, Callicott & Ames 1989). This explanation, while appealing in many ways, strikes one as incomplete and simplistic. There is evidence of environmental disaster in China, long before the influence of any Western paradigm (Edmonds 1994 Smil 1984). Realizing that environmental degradation is not a new phenomenon Hargrove (1989) suggests degradation might be “the result of empirical ignorance” and Kellert (1995) that contemporary views of nature have changed very little from traditional views and continue to :be highly abstract and idealized, involve little empirical understanding of ecological considerations of the natural world, rarely provide explicit support for nature conservation be predicated on passivity or fatalism towards a natural world depicted as all-powerful and beyond human capacity to conserve (Kellert 1995) Tuan (1968) articulates the paradox between environmental ideal and reality by drawing on the concept of ying/yang. He identifies two opposite and some would argue contradictory environmental traditions, a terrestrial and celestial paradigm. The terrestrial naturalistic paradigm [yin=female] finds expression in ; animistic belief, nature philosophy, poetry, the refined sentiments of Daoism and Confucianism, and enlightened conservation memorials. This paradigm has some resonance with Shiva’s “nature as feminine principle” (1989)

The cosmic celestial paradigm [yang=male] is predicated on geometric order, geomancy, fengshui, agricultural almanacs and formal gardens. The key concept of the latter was built on the related notions of rectilinearity, order, and rectitude which were imposed on architecture and social forms, because the earth lacked paradigms of perfect order. While the former resulted in an adaptive attitude to nature the latter inspired attitudes of order and hierarchy and underpinned a discourse that legitimized authoritarian instrumental control over earth and man and the political control of language and meaning (Vermander 2000) A1.03 Nature in Chinese literature, art and reality In China the written tradition and everyday life are often worlds apart. The Chinese worldview allows for considerable tension between these disparate realities. The Chinese have an extensive literary tradition venerating nature, but we have few means of investigating how this was applied in practice. Chinese natural philosophy has not prevented deforestation and destruction of the environment through history (See Bruun & Kalland 1995). Chinese natural philosophy is a domain of thought in which the social metaphor is a constant subject [ or even the object ] for creation of meaning with an inherent discrepancy between word and practice. It is moralizing agency stressing ideal culture rather than observed reality. Tension is obvious when, for example Confucianism stresses that “wealth and honour are from heaven” while ancestor belief, fengshui and folk belief provide the means of influencing heaven. The Chinese are known for anthropocentrism in their philosophy and sociocentrism in terms of pragmatic orientation. As such the greater part of the “world that matters” is made up of humans and human society, which still holds true today. China has a long tradition of writing symbols into nature, for instance in landscape painting (Kinsley 1995). A rich archive of symbols was depicted in art by means of interpreting natural forms, forces (eg 气 qi4 ) and constellations. A great number of word compounds (eg mountainwater [山-水 shan1-shui3]) which all build on extensions of the yinyang pair (Mai-Mai Sze 1963), constitute a huge and rather poorly investigated semantic field (Bruun 2002). Yet natural symbolism has no immediate impact on the concrete activities of resource management and environmental practices in general. The force of material gain has been persistent, pervasive and pernicious in its effect on the Chinese environment for many centuries. Chinese peasants have long sought to improve their livelihoods by clearing wetlands, felling forests for fuel and arable fields, and destroying grasslands for wheat and millet. The noble cultural ideals of Daoism and fengshui had little restraining effect, especially since the population explosion of the eighteenth century (Perdue 1987). A very similar view was held by some of China’s most respected ecologists, who noted the historic exploitation of natural resources which had taken a heavy toll on China’s environment, had largely gone unheeded until very recently (Li Wenhua Zhao Xianying 1989) Early Western sources of fengshui reveal that protection of the environment was neither a concern to Western onlookers nor to Chinese users. Nature was most commonly denoted as the resource base that should be brought under control in the service of mankind. A1.04 Values and environmental management Several authors tend to agree on the need to tread cautiously when inducing ecological practices from philosophical traditions. It is rather simplistic to assume that values and norms work directly on individuals. They should be regarded as rhetorical devices which are utilized in order to achieve a specific goal or legitimize an action. We cannot, therefore take environmental behaviour as evidence of specific values. Some have even argued that the notion

of a connection between peoples perceptions of nature and the ways they manage the natural environment is a western one [based on a western dichotomy between theory & practice] , not necessarily shared by people in Asia (Bruun & Kelland 1995). Although conflicts do occur between ideology and practice in Asian cultures seemingly they can be explained on the basis of contextualism (See Berque 1986). Contextualism implies not only that there are no clear-cut distinctions between nature and non-nature or between man and other life forms but also that people’s approach to nature tends to be particularistic or pragmatic, rather than governed by absolute principles. Infusing nature with spirits or using nature as a repertoire for metaphors is no assurance for the well-being of the environment, although the power of animistic spirit beliefs is commonly thought favourable to conservation Banuri & Marglin 1993, Guha 1993 & 2000, Colfer et al 1977, Davison & Sutlive 1991, Kemp 1993, Edwards 1922, Elwin 1939, Gadgil 1985 Seeland 1986 Stevens 1993). in the face of the western enterprise, the state and the need for land such beliefs tend to diminish along with the forest although there is evidence that the erosion is reversible and that communities are reviving conservation practices (Kothari nd). Additionally by offering to the world traditional religious values, traditional peoples gain cultural significance and express a truth of urgent relevance for the future of the Earth (Pedersen 1995) A1.05 Cultural Synthesis Neither Eastern nor Western societies are intrinsically inferior or superior in their perspectives of nature. Both conceptually and empirically both cultural viewpoints reflect functional and dysfunctional attitudes toward the natural world. From a positive perspective, both cultural traditions have embedded within their conceptions of nature the seeds of a powerful ethic of appreciation, respect, and concern for the conservation of nature. From the East, we derive an enhanced compassion and appreciation for life, a profound intuition of nature’s oneness, and the willingness to exist in harmony and balance with the natural world. From the West, an inclination to understand nature empirically, a tradition of environmental stewardship, and the belief in wisely managing and controlling the natural world. The urgency of achieving a more culturally positive relation to the natural world has become especially evident in recent years. The deconstructionist notion that all cultural perspectives of nature possess equal value is both biologically misguided and socially dangerous (Kellert 1995). Society needs to fashion a cultural synthesis drawing from the best of Western, Eastern & Indigenous traditions in seeking a more benign and nurturing relationship to nature. ©John Studley London Friday, July 05, 2002 1

nature is a complex concept in western and eastern languages that in common usage has a complicated repertoire of meanings . Recurring intervals of romanticism have given it much of its western flavour, but there is some common meaning (eg spontaneity) between eastern of western use of the concept ( Bruun & Kalland 1995) 2

See Best & Kelner (1987) for a more “postmodern” understanding of paradigm


has been defined as that part of people’s personal identity which is based on or built upon the physical and symbolic features of the places in which people live (Proshansky 1978)


has been defined as the affective relation or the emotional bonds that people have with places where they live (Fried 1963 2000 Giuliani in Press)


This was calculated on the basis that the mean above ground biomass for Yunnan is 240 cub metres/ha and that the growth rate is 3%/annum or 7.2 cub metres/ha/annum. Biomass data is difficult to find for Yunnan so I have doubled the average standing volume for Yunnan (Li 1993). On the basis of biomass research I conducted in Nepal, and other global literature this is not an unreasonable assumption. 6

“Nature” is a purely western concept, however some near Chinese equivalents include “wild” (ye), which is not liked, the spontaneous (ziren), what we are born with and have inside (xing), everything (wan wu), concepts of plants, animals & mountains, and The Dao (in some Daoist usage) and some near Tibetan equivalents include nature (rang-bzhin-gyi-khams) and environment/nature (khor-yug) (Anderson pers comm 25/1/2000 Gyurme Dorje pers. Comm. 21/3/2000)


Tibetan Buddhism as a whole is a complex but coherent body of Mahayana doctrines and esoteric practices and comprises four major religious orders :- Sakyapa Kagyupa Nyimepe & Gelugpa (See Tucci 1980 Stein 1962) 8

To all intents and purposes the modern Bonpo are followers of a Buddhist religious tradition with certain differences of vocabulary from the other four major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, but no major difference in content. For more on Bon and its three phases see Samuel 1993a & 1993b

Nature Conservation in the Henduan Mountains 2002  

Nature Conservation in the Henduan Mountains 2002

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