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Pendebas Wetland Conservation Project Launched in Chuxi Village sticky icon

The first sub-project of Vale Award Project, the Wetland Conservation Project in Chuxi Village was officially launched on August 31, 2011 in QNNP’s Tingri County. Mr. Tsering Norbu, Executive Director of The Pendeba Society, village leaders like Mr. Basang and Mr. Gesang, staff from The Pendeba Society and over 30 Chuxi villagers attended the project launch ceremony. Supported by the People's Government of Shegar Town where Chuxi Village belongs, The Pendeba Society has signed an agreement with Ms. Gama, Chief Executive of the Shegar Town about implementing the project in Chuxi Village. It is a living demostration of our work strategy, i.e. the "Three-way Partnership" which involves "top-down" support from government agencies, "bottom-up" initiative from communities, and "outside-in" training and support from organizations.

“This project protects both wetland and farmland of Chuxi village,” said Mr. Tsering Norbu, “moreover, it also prevents desertification and regulates small climate in the village by increasing the air humidity and green space around the village.” In the meantime, Norbu also introduced to the villagers the importance of protecting wetland and practicing rotational grazing. He also provided some suggestions on how to make sustainable use of arable land, especially that close to river banks. And we hope the project will also raise the awareness of environmental conservation within the community and enhance their knowledge and skills on sustainable land use.  

The Pendeba Society Invited to the Regional Sharing Workshop in Nepal sticky icon

From August 23rd to 25th, Mr. LIU Rongkun, Program Manager of The Pendeba Society attended a three- day Regional Sharing Workshop on Assessment of Challenges and Opportunities in the Asia Pacific region for Rio +20 at ICIMOD Headquarters in Kathmandu, Nepal.

About 40 plus participants from South East Asia, Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region, and the island nation of Papua New Guinea representing primarily governments, I/NGO sector, and multilateral organizations gathered at ICIMOD to:

      Discuss 15 commissioned case studies - 10 from HKH and 4 from SE Asia and the Pacific as well as identify good practices;

      Locate “missing links” for prioritizing regional issues; and

      Consolidate specific suggestions on status, challenges, progress and opportunities for sustainable mountain development in the context of Rio+20. 

PKU Summer Practice Team Received at The Pendeba Society sticky icon

With the invitation of The Pendaba Society, a summer practice team consisting of six students from Peking University (PKU) visited Tingri for 4 days this August from 1st to 4th. The team aimed at finding out how an NGO contributes its strengths to the Qomolanga National Nature Preserve’s environmental protection in its unique way.

Mr. Tsering Norbu, Director of The Pendeba Society made a thorough presentation for the students, ranging from the natural and social statistics of the reserve area to The Pendaba Society’s history, completed projects and its future prospect. Throughout the presentation, there were questioned answered and opinions exchanged, creating a vigorous atmosphere. The students also discussed the present and future of Chinese NGO development with Norbu, and reached the consensus that NGOs should play an increasingly important role in promoting environmental protection and offering what the government fails to complete in China. 

With the introduction of Norbu, the students also held seminars with Tingri County Land and Resources Bureau and QNNP Management Bureau Tingri Branch, which served as a valuable supplement to their research. They were happy to see how well-received The Pendaba Society is among both the government and the villagers within the area. 

When the visit came to an end, the students from PKU expressed their gratitude of The Pendeba Society’s invitation and their admiration of the Society’s goal and current projects. They hope to carry the environmental-friendly and volunteering spirit of The Pendaba Society back to Beijing and share with their peers so that more people can support the organization and do more for the protection and development of the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve. 

The Pendeba Society Visits Enba Village for Wetland Conservation sticky icon

Collapsed mud clod sheep pens

“Large areas of wetlands have been excavated for mud clods to build sheep pens, and it is extremely devastating to the wetlands and the ecosystem that depends on them. Alongside the river bank and lake, most of the corrals for keeping dzos, horses and sheep are made of sod. Using the sod for making corrals has two obvious disadvantages. Firstly, it destructs wetlands and grasslands by digging sod every year to construct/repair corrals and, secondly, it requires heavy drudgery for the herding community to construct and repaire the corrals every year,” said Tsering Norbu, Executive Director of The Pendeba Society, about how people build sheep pens in Enba Village of Tingri County. 

Destroyed wetlands from excavating mud clods for building sheep pens

To better conserve the wetlands along Pengqu River that flows across Tingri County into Nepal, The Pendeba Society staff met with Mr. Sonam Tsering, Village Leader of Enba Village on July 17, 2011 to discuss about a conservation project of transforming the old sheep pens into ones that are more sustainable and endurable. 

The old sheep pens were built by laying earth clods one by one to form an enclosure. They are loosely laid together without any fortification measures. When there are heavy rains, these earth enclosures will break down and need to be rebuilt by excavated new clods from the wetlands again. It is extremely difficult for grass to recover in high-altitude areas, not to mention that the grass is even disrooted. Therefore, the harm to the wetlands from building sheep pens in this traditional way is continuous and irrevocable. 

The Pendeba Society Visits Chuxi Village for Conservation Project sticky icon

Near Chuxi Village of Tingri County there is a piece of beautiful wetland. Although it is small, it has affluent grass for livestock and a running spring that provides water for animals and human, and agricultural irrigation as well. The wetland also helps increase humidity for the village where many other villages in the region faces dry weather all year round. Usually villagers graze their horses, goats and sheep on this wetland in spring. Horses are always tethered to a picket to prevent them from running away, and horses are therefore can only feed on a small area of grassland. This will give huge pressures on the grassland and animals sometimes would dig the land for grass roots. As a consequence, the grasslands are destroyed and cannot be easily recovered at this altitude of 4300 meters high. If the horses break the tie, they will then run into neighboring farmland and destroy the crop. 

To help the village better protect their precious wetland and meadow for houses, sheep and goats, and prevent livestock from treading farmland nearby, The Pendeba Society visited Chuxi Village on July 16, 2011 to identify feasibility of implementing a conservation project. The project aims to protect this valuable land by setting enclosures around the wetland, letting animals feed freely and promoting rotational grazing on the land. It will protect around 1 hectares of farmlands and around 10 hectares wetlands as well as water resources and fodder that depend on them, benefiting over 400 villagers and more than 2000 livestock in Chuxi Village.

The Pendeba Society prepares for the Vale Award Project sticky icon

With the prize of 25,000 RMB from Vale Award, The Pendeba Society is currently in the midst of thinking about how to make the best use of the project fund. And we have come up with several good ideas that can impose long-term positive impacts on local communities’ well-being and environmental sustainability. 

One of our identified project sites is Langga Village located near the 318 National Road and close to Baiba Village where The Pendeba Society is based. Langga Village has long been suffering from difficulties in obtaining safe drinking water for both human and livestock. Villagers need to walk long way to fetch water from hidden streams and springs in the neighboring mountains. Additionally, the water quality will get even worse during the rainy season since the flood and mud will dirty the water. On July 15, 2011, The Pendeba Society organized a survey in Langga Village to measure the feasibility of laying a water pipe from the nearest spring to the village, and the result was very promising. With assistance from an expert in drinking water project for human and livestock, and information from both senior villagers and ground-based survey, we have drafted a plan that can solve the village’s drinking water problems in the coming months. The project can benefit more than 190 villagers and over 3000 livestock including cattle, houses, goats and sheep. 

Tsering Norbu Interviewed at People's Daily Online sticky icon

On June 30, 2011, Mr. Tsering Norbu, Director of The Pendeba Society was invited to People's Daily Online discussing the Vale Award that we just received and sharing experience with other participants and interested netizens. 

During the interview, Norbu introduced our awarded project in terms of what we have been doing in QNNP, and approaches that we applied to make our project successful. "We strive for a balance between environmental protection and social development, and we follow closely this path. That's why we made a success and could go this far," said Norbu.  

He also mentioned our work strategies of "Three Partnership" where government guidance, community involvement and expertise support are well blended in the course of the project implementation. Without these, our project would not be running so smoothly and impactfully for the past twenty years. And we hope that with this Award, we can do better and we must do better. 

More details about the interview and the video clip can be found here: Norbu's Interview and Interview Transcript

The Pendeba Society wins the Special Project Award sticky icon

In the ceremony of Vale Award on Innovative Public Participation in Western China Ecological Conservation hosted at the National Convention Center on June 29th, The Pendeba Society was awarded with the top prize – the Special Project Award for its Nature Conservation and Community Development Project and 250,000 yuan as the project fund.  Mr. Tsering Norbu, Director of The Pendeba Society accepted the award on behalf of this project.  Mr. JIA Feng, Director of the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s Center for Environmental Education and Communication (CEEC) awarded him with the certificate and trophy. “Thank you for all your support for the Pendeba Project.  We will continue our efforts on the project and make it better,” Tsering Norbu enthused in his acceptance speech that indicated the hard work of Pendeba staff in Tibet for more than twenty years. Since the official launch of the Pendeba Project in 1994, the Project and later The Pendeba Society has created a bottom-up conservation and development model through the hard work by Future Generations and The Pendeba Society staff, participatory trainings and active community involvement, and the trainings of pendebas to lead local communities to better practice environmental conservation and achieve lasting community development in the Mt. Everest region.  In the event of final examination on the morning of June 29th, the presentation by Tsering Norbu has gained praise and support from the demanding judging panel and the Pendeba Project was accepted in consensus as an innovative sustainable development model and therefore awarded the prize.

The Pendeba Society Met “Love-En-Route” Team from CNG and ONE Foundation sticky icon

On June 11, 2011, The Pendeba Society received a workgroup of 6 people from Chinese National Geography (CNG) magazine and ONE Foundation who was on their mission to visit schools located in the Mt. Everest region. 

We had a very interactive conversation with senior staff from both organizations including Ms. CAI Huaye, CEO of CNG New Media and Ms. Amy Shu, Deputy Director of Partnership Development from ONE Foundation. During the conversation we introduced The Pendeba Society to our guests and discussed our work strategies and past and current projects in QNNP. We also showed our guests around the Exhibition Hall at the Training Center, giving brief introduction of QNNP’s geographical and social settings in front of QNNP’s topographical sand modes.

Our guests all expressed keen interest in the work of The Pendeba Society, and we hope that possible collaboration can be explored with both organizations in the near future. 

The Pendeba Society Launched Project to Build Pendeba Database sticky icon


From June to August 2011, The Pendeba Society will be conducting a full survey of 323 pendebas who received trainings between 1994 and 2011. The purpose of this survey is to build a detailed database for pendebas, identify and evaluate the impacts those pendebas have had on their communities, and to determine key focuses for The Pendeba Society’s future projects in QNNP. 

Teamed up by Tsering Norbu, LIU Rongkun and Norbu Dundup, a Tingri native who just joined The Pendeba Society for this project, the survey officially started on June 6, 2011 by first looking for pendebas residing in neighboring townships and villages in Tingri County. The first day’s results were very positive and we have got full profiles of 6 pendebas who attended the pendeba trainings in 2010 and 2007. These pendebas include the village leader of Enba Village of Zhaguo Township and women’s leaders of Banglai and Zhaga Villages. And from June 7 to 8, we have got another 19 pendebas’ information from Shegar Town’s Linsa, Qulai, Maxia Villages, and others. These pendebas all expressed their appreciation of being a pendeba and keen interest in participating in The Pendeba Society’s future trainings.