Climate change perceptions and adaptive actions by pastoral community on the Tibetan plateau, China

J. Sharif, M. K. Rafiq, M. T. Rafiq, R. Aziz, A. Qayyum, A. R. Saleem, W. U. Nisa, M. A. Jenks, Y. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Tibetan plateau is an area of global ecological and cultural significance often called the third pole of the earth, world water towers and roof of the world. The plateau provides forage to 95% of world’s total yak population and supports the largest pastoral population (9.8 million) of the globe. The plateau is vulnerable to climate change which threatens grassland resources, watersheds, livestock and pastoral population. As the pastoralists are the key custodians of the plateau, this study examined their climate change perceptions and analyzed their adaptation strategies in Tibetan Plateau, China. The results showed that majority of the pastoralists were aware of the climate change issues in the plateau. It was found that pastoralists have noticed changes in climate variability leading to grassland degradation and poor animal health and productivity. TV Programs about climate change and weather forecast programs were among the key tools for developing pastoral perception about climate change. The demographic characteristic of the pastorals like education, age and household size proved to contribute in the development of climate change perceptions among pastorals (P ≤ 0.05). The study found that livelihood diversification, having mixed livestock breeds, cultivation of high yielding and drought tolerant forage varieties, grassland fencing and controlled grazing were among the most practiced adaptation strategies in the Plateau. Pastoralists are the key stakeholders of the Plateau. Therefore, their capacity needs improvement to adapt climate effects and work with the government institutions for the betterment of the plateau and their improved livelihood so that it can create win-win situation for pastoralists and government managers as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7987-8009
Number of pages23
JournalApplied Ecology and Environmental Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • Climatic variability
  • Diversification
  • Global warming
  • Mitigation measures
  • Pasture utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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