When Political Precarity Meets Climate Vulnerability: A Case of Tibetan Refugee Pastoralists from Ladakh, Northern India
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractHerding in the Ladakh region is a common yet dwindling practice as Ladakh faces changing political and socio-economic conditions. In the Changthang region of Ladakh, Changpa (Ladakhi) and Tibetan refugee pastoralists continue to practice herding and support their livelihood. However, in the last few decades, they are facing compound challenges to sustaining their traditional herding livelihoods due to urbanization, youth migration, and generational change. In this study, I look at how Tibetan refugee pastoralists in Changthang Samed (out of nine different locations) perceive climate change and its impact on their livelihood. Tibetan refugee pastoralists relocated to the region in the 1960s following the Chinese occupation of Tibet. By studying Tibetan pastoralists’ coping strategies that they use to meet the changing physical environment (as a constitution of political, and socioeconomic change in the background), I will explore how their political status affects their ability to employ specific coping strategies. Drawing from critical social science, political ecology of climate adaptation, and political geography literature, I situate the experience of Tibetan refugee pastoralists and their plight in the global climate conversation as well as the regional climate change dialogue. I do so by exploring the intersection of climate vulnerability and political precarity.
Degree ProgramGraduate College