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Biodiversity Conservation Governance on the Tibetan Plateau:  Cross-scale Linkages and Bridging Organizations

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posted on 11.11.2021, 22:01 by Schlick, Katharina

The ‘roof of the world’ is one of the most ecologically diverse and vulnerable regions on earth. Tibetan pastoralists have developed an institutionalized system of checks and balances to regulate access to and conservation of natural resources. However, traditional resource management institutions are greatly transformed by government driven development and conservation projects. Recent studies on adaptive co-management have emphasized the importance of linking institutional and organizational structures at different scales for sustaining socio-ecological resilience and managing cross-scale problems of conservation. Extraordinary conservation accomplishments have been made in cases where government and local communities engage in partnerships for collaborative conservation management. The methodology for this study incorporated a social network approach that presents a unique analysis of the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in enabling more collaborative conservation governance arrangements in the Tibetan Plateau region. The study is based on a field research in China where I used semi-structured interviews to investigate NGOs perspectives about the main triggers and barriers to more collaborative conservation approaches on the Tibetan Plateau and their role in facilitating the communication among different stakeholder groups. My main findings are that NGOs have significant influence on enabling more collaborative conservation management initiatives. The creation of crossinstitutional partnerships, flexibility in conservation approaches, mutual learning, and trust building processes are seen as the most effective means to more collaborative conservation approaches. Conversely, unequal power relationships, different understandings of how to approach conservation issues and a diversity of partially conflicting interests and priorities are identified as the main barriers.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Development Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Development Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Gavin, Michael