Lunchtime Seminar 1 May – Professor Jun Xu

April 29th, 2014 by

A lunchtime seminar will be held in the Mond Building Seminar Room, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RF

Thursday 1 May 2014, 1.00-2.00

All welcome

Professor Jun Xu

Centre for Tibetan Studies, Sichuan University

Climate Change Perspectives & Migration Issues in Tibetan Areas of China


The ecological self-regulating mechanism of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau loses effectiveness due to global warming, glaciers melting and rapid population growth. In order to recover ecological balance of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Chinese government has set up policies and taken a series of measures. Ecological migration has been widely considered as an effective way of recovering the local ecological balance in many countries. Therefore the measures taken by Chinese government include persuading herdsmen to leave the grassland, which means to recover the grassland in the next five to ten years and avoid further overgrazing.

The policy which based on Garrett Hardin ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ ’ theory been challenged from different perspectives – that of ‘Control’ or ‘Repair’. As an anthropologist, with a nine year background of collaboration with an NGO, I have conducted extensive field work in different Tibetan areas and varied kinds of resettlement sites. This involved the study, survey and filming of resettlement sites in various parts of Tibet. The emotional, mental and physical impacts were studied, as was the social adaptation required for survival under new conditions.

At the same time, we gave opposite views of James C. Scott. Who thinks certain schemes to improve the human condition go awry because of neglecting the local knowledge. For our case we showed that indigenous knowledge, does not always play important roles in the modern technical era, especially as climate changing influence increasing, which is not the only way to make the schemes successful, and is losing its necessity as they faced new change.

Two short films will be shown as part of the presentation.