Dr Gongburezen is the lead researcher for PASTRES in China. Based at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu and working closely with Wenjun Li at Peking University, he will be coordinating PASTRES work in the pastoral areas of Qinghai and Sichuan.
In this short video, Gongbu responds to two questions, and explains his vision for the PASTRES project in China.
Originally trained as an ecologist, Dr Gongburezen has expanded his interests to look at wider resource management and institutional questions. He is the co-author of important papers on the future of pastoralism in the Tibetan areas of China, and comes from a pastoral family himself.
In answer to the question of whether uncertainty is a useful lens for looking at pastoralism, he points to the interaction of different sources of uncertainty, including natural disasters, in pastoral areas. He argues that through socio-economic change, including infrastructure development such as through China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, uncertainties for pastoralists are growing.
Understanding how such changing uncertainties have an impact on pastoral livelihoods is central to the PASTRES project. The project ‘comes at the right time’ as this transition is so rapid and significant in China, and so little research has been undertaken to understand this.
Perspectives on navigating uncertainties in the context of rapid change will be important, Gongbu argues, for wider policy areas, including health care and rural development more broadly.
Image credit: Dr Michele Nori