Navigation Links
New book details the biological and cultural diversity of Khawa Karpo, sacred mountain of Tibet
Date:12/12/2012

(ST. LOUIS): The Tibetan sacred mountain Khawa Karpo, a verdant, snow-capped high peak of the eastern Himalayas, supports one of the world's most exceptional areas of plant and animal diversity and endemism, from the sacred snow lotus to the endangered snow leopard. Monsoon rains, precipitous topography dissected by rivers and the interaction of tropical and temperate floras have influenced this region, valued not only for its global ecological significance but also by Tibetan Buddhists for its tremendous religious significance. Now, this critical biodiversity hotspot is threatened with destruction from climate change, the stripping of resources and rapid development. Dr. Jan Salick, ethnobotanist and climate change scientist at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, and Robert Moseley, director of conservation for The Nature Conservancy in Illinois, are leaders of conservation programs attempting to weave together goals of both biodiversity and cultural conservation in this region. In their new book, "Khawa Karpo: Tibetan Traditional Knowledge and Biodiversity Conservation," Salick and Moseley detail their vital conservation programs focused on Tibetan traditional knowledge of ethnobotany, ecology and natural resource management.

"Conservation is often done by scientists as a top-down activity, but this book illustrates our efforts to do conservation from the bottom-up," said Salick. "Our research is focused on traditional Tibetan knowledge, based on Tibetan sacred sites, Tibetan medicines and doctors' knowledge of them, the Tibetan people's traditional uses of their Himalayan landscape and their adaptations to and mitigations of climate change. It is a particularly challenging way to work, but ethnobotanists must incorporate traditional ecological knowledge with scientific methods to develop conservation recommendations and procedures that can successfully protect places like Khawa Karpo and its incredible diversity."

Mount Khawa Karpo lies within the Menri mountain range that straddles the border of Tibet and Yunnan in southwest China, where alpine and temperate systems of the Tibetan Plateau meet the subtropical and tropical systems of Southeast Asia. A unique combination of factors including rainfall patterns and physical relief contribute to its being the most biologically-diverse temperate ecosystem on Earth. The area (known as "Medicine Mountains" by Tibetans) is celebrated both for its sacred geography and its abundance of plants used in traditional Tibetan medicine. It is recognized as a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage site.

The golden monkey, giant panda, red panda, blue sheep and many pheasants are among the animal species endemic to this region. Plants are an integral part of Tibetan life and culture. Snow lotus, blue poppies and corydalis are among the genera of plants found in these mountains, as are wild relatives of common garden plants like peonies, hydrangeas, rhododendrons and lilacs.

Recent regional, national and international policies and economic developments are bringing rapid change to the region. Economic development is capitalizing on the natural and cultural resources of the Khawa Karpo area. The development of mining, non-timber products and agricultural products is increasing, as is tourism. These threats to biodiversity are now evident. Large cats (including the snow leopard) and ungulates are endangered; many rare and endemic plants are threatened. Populations of plants harvested for medicine and horticulture are declining.

The influx of Chinese and Western culture is also influencing traditional Tibetan culture. As religion, culture and language evolve and transform, traditions deteriorate, and with them the traditional ecological knowledge on which the area's biodiversity dependthus threatening biodiversity.

"The rich biodiversity under threat drew The Nature Conservancy to Khawa Karpo in 2000 to work with the local government on a conservation and development plan," said Moseley. "We arrived with a standard conservation planning toolset, but quickly realized Tibetan society has much to teach us about sustainable use of the area's natural resources. The ethnobotanical approach of Missouri Botanical Garden scientists provided that bridge between Western science and traditional knowledge in designing effective conservation programs."

"We believe nature conservation can learn from and reinforce indigenous Tibetan practices at all scales," added Salick.


'/>"/>

Contact: Katie O'Sullivan
pr@mobot.org
314-577-0254
Missouri Botanical Garden
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study details essential role of trust in agricultural biotech partnerships
2. Report details efforts to improve, advance indoor microbial sampling
3. Developing second skin military fabric to repel chemical and biological agents
4. The Journal of Biological Chemistry commemorates an important 1987 discovery
5. These bots were made for walking: Cells power biological machines
6. Single protein targeted as the root biological cause of several childhood psychiatric disorders
7. Watching the cogwheels of the biological clock in living cells
8. Self-forming biological scaffolding
9. Merging the biological and the electronic
10. Boston subway system to be used to test new sensors for biological agents
11. Making sense out of the biological matrix of bipolar disorder
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/29/2016)... March 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. ... "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our ... in a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures ... created collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured ... the DNA. Bill Bollander , CEO ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... , March 18, 2016 ... Suppliers of Biometrics, ICT, Manned & Unmanned Vehicles, Physical infrastructure ... & security companies in the border security market and the ... and Europe has led visiongain ... companies improved success. --> defence & security ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... Allemagne, March 14, 2016 ... - --> - Renvoi : image disponible ... --> --> DERMALOG, ... fournit de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales pour l,enregistrement ... DERMALOG sera utilisé pour produire des cartes d,identité ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lajollacooks4u has become a ... consistently been rated one of its top attractions. Fortune 500 companies, such as ... in a unique and intimate team-building experience. , Each event kicks off with an ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... AZ (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... Dr. Michael Fitzmaurice recently became double board-certified in surgery and surgery of the ... 2015. Dr. Fitzmaurice is no stranger to going above and beyond in his ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... WEDI, the nation’s leading authority on the use ... W. Stellar has been named by the WEDI Board of Directors as WEDI’s president ... executive leader with more than 35 years of experience in healthcare, association management and ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Cell therapies for ... be accelerated by research at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) that yielded a newly ... tissue regeneration. , The novel method, developed by WPI faculty members Raymond Page, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: