Pashmina production and socio-economic changes in the Indian Changthang: Implications for natural resource management

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From: Natural Resources Forum(Vol. 34, Issue 3)
Publisher: Wiley Subscription Services, Inc.
Document Type: Report
Length: 299 words

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To authenticate to the full-text of this article, please visit this link: Byline: Tsewang Namgail (1), Sipke E. van Wieren (1), Herbert H.T. Prins (1) Keywords: Changthang; large herbivores; livestock; cold desert; Trans-Himalaya; Pashmina; CBNRM Abstract: Abstract A unique pastoral community uses the arid rangelands of eastern Ladakh, known as Changthang, northern India. The nomadic people rear a variety of livestock such as sheep, goats, horses and yaks, which provide them with various goods and services. Nevertheless, the needs and aspirations of the people are changing. There is a trend towards increasing the livestock population, especially of a breed of goat that produces one of the finest natural fibres: Pashmina, which is the mainstay of their economy. This increase in goat population, however, is jeopardising the long-term survival of the wild herbivores in the region, and as such is not sustainable. We present information on the current trends in socio-economy, Pashmina production, wildlife conservation, and the conflicts of interest between wildlife and nomads in the region. On the basis of this information, we make suggestions for the conservation of natural resources in the region. We recommend preserving the historical societal norms and notions of the people, and capitalising on them to manage natural resources. We also recommend joint management of natural resources by the local people, State and non-governmental organisations. Our findings provide a platform on which a grazing policy for the region may be formulated. Author Affiliation: (1)Resource Ecology Group, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands Article note: Tsewang Namgail (, Sipke E. van Wieren ( and Herbert H.T. Prins ( are members of the Resource Ecology Group, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 3a, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands. Tsewang Namgail is also a Research Associate at the Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore, India.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A233550618