Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (7): 749-757.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019081

• Special Feature: Traditional Knowledge Associated with Biodiversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Action research on Tibetan sacred nature sites (SNS) conservation in Tibetan community in NW Yunnan

Yang Lixin1,2,Pei Shengji1,2,*(),Zhang Yu1,3   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Resource Plants and Biotechnology, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201
    2 Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge, Kunming 650034
    3 Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Naypyitaw, Burma 999091
  • Received:2019-03-15 Accepted:2019-05-20 Online:2019-07-20 Published:2019-08-21
  • Contact: Pei Shengji


The Tibetan sacred nature sites (SNS) encompass culturally significant, ritually protected sites in the Baima National Nature Reserve. Animistic and Tibetan Buddhist custodians of these sites have used traditional knowledge to conserve these sites for generations. Here, we assess how the Tibetan traditional eco-conservation culture conserves biodiversity, promotes community-based conservation, and restores forest ecosystems using methods of applied ethnobotany and ethnoecology. In particular, we applied strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analyses and community participatory approaches in three Tibetan SNS: Bazhu, Kegong, and Zhuida in Baima National Nature Reserve and its surrounding area in Shangrila County of Deqin Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province.Our results show that the driving force for community conservation of biodiversity comes from the established, traditional cultures and the dependence of community livelihoods on biodiversity. We conclude that community conservation on Sacred Nature Sites is an important way to protect biological and cultural diversity, as well as livelihood development at the community level. The Tibetan community's long-term compliance with, and practice of, SNS conservation has been a significant contribution to biodiversity conservation throughout the region.

Key words: Tibetan, action research, community-based conservation