I have set up this blog with the hope to raise money to help the people of Lowah village in Amdo province, East Tibet. They live in an area called Mangra and 1000′s of peoples livelihoods are effected by the increasing problem of desertification. Amdo is also an area which has maintained a very strong nomadic culture.
This way of life is under threat by new Chinese law and if the nomads grasslands are also destroyed by the desertification they will be forced from their land in to Chinese cities. This sadly will help contribute to the death of a proud and unique way of life.
Since 2002 Pujah and the villagers have taken it upon themselves to save the grasslands by buying and planting Aspen trees each year, approximately 1,000,000 in total.This was aided by free seeds and saplings from the Chinese government at the beginning , as well as some financial support from Germany.But this support has stopped!At the beginning of this project the survival rate of the trees was 70% now it is 95% due to greater knowledge and experience.
Financially this is a huge struggle and Pujah is forced to take out bank loans which are a tremendous burden to pay. Sadly the family are often forced to sell their livestock to do so.£1 will pay for 8 trees, including transport, labour and fencing costs.The local government has given the family permission to plant 26,000mu(17km2 of land).They need to plant approximately 15,200mu(11km2)more ! There is still much work to be done.
Since the 1949 occupation of Tibet up to 50% of its forests have been needlessly destroyed which has led to the desert area of Tibet expanding to 500,000km sq in the past 35 years. 1,000,000 people are dependent on these grasslands for survival as well as numerous species of wildlife and their habitats. This deforestation has led to increased sediment in the rivers and as 10 of Asias major rivers are sourced in Tibet eg Yangtze, Brahmaputra, this causes major environmental problems.Major flooding in the Bay of Bengal has been attributed to deforestation in Tibet.
The Tibetan people need to be listened to and given power to protect their grasslands, environment and culture. The Chinese Governments plans to resettle chinese people in Tibetan areas has led to over farming and increased desertification as they have no knowledge of the grasslands.
This is why Pujah and his fellow villagers need to be supported and given the power to decide their own fate as Tibetan people. Thank you for sponsoring me and Gema on our 800km trek along the El Camino pilgrimage route through the North of Spain.Please help us to continue raising money to help these villagers fight to survive in their own land
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