Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2010, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (5): 757-770.doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0809-2

• Man-Land Relationship • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Livelihood diversification of farmers and nomads of eastern transect in Tibetan Plateau

YAN Jianzhong1,2, WU Yingying1,2, ZHANG Yili2, ZHOU Shaobin3   

  1. 1. College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Chongqing 400716, China;
    2. Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 10010, China;
    3. College of Politics and Social Sciences, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing 400747, China
  • Received:2009-06-20 Revised:2009-12-17 Online:2010-10-15 Published:2010-10-23
  • Supported by:

    The National Basic Research Program of China, No.2005CB422006; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40601006


Livelihoods of farmers and nomads in Tibetan Plateau are severely affected by grassland and herbal resources degeneration. How to help them achieve livelihood diversification is a key sustainable development issue. This paper examines livelihood assets, livelihood diversification level and livelihood strategies of farmers and nomads in 3 regions of eastern transect in Tibetan Plateau. The results show that livelihood diversification is a popular strategy. From high mountain gorge region to mountain plateau region and plateau region, livelihood diversification level is reduced, and livelihood activities and proportion of extended livelihood also decrease. Livelihood assets and livelihood diversification level decrease with the increase of elevation, mainly shown in human assets and natural assets. Livelihood diversification level is highly correlative with livelihood assets, mainly shown in natural assets, human assets and social assets. Livelihood improvement strategies of farmers and nomads are still based on existing livelihood assets, mainly raising livestock and digging herbs, and less farmers and nomads consider off-farm employment or doing business. Nomads in plateau region should learn much from experiences of extended livelihoods of people in high mountain gorge region and mountain plateau region. Therefore, aids of governments should focus on relieving restricted factors of livelihood diversification and help them improve their abilities to build up extended type livelihoods.

Key words: Tibetan Plateau, transect, livelihood diversification, livelihood assets