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After 3 moves, herder finally finds home

By Palden Nyima and Daqiong in Lhasa | | Updated: 2023-12-05 16:26
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A video screenshot shows an image of Pema in his home in Lhokha, Xizang autonomous region. [Photo provided to]

A Tibetan herder in the Xizang autonomous region has relocated three times in the past four decades in search of a suitable place that can provide a better livelihood for him and his family.

Originally residing in Shanza county, with an average altitude of 4,600 meters, the herder — named Pema — first moved to Kartso township in Tsonyi county during the 1970s, when he was a young man.

The relocation was prompted by the pressing need to balance grazing and livestock. The local government encouraged Pema and his fellow residents to take their animals and to move to a nearby county with more land.

With an average altitude of 5,000 meters, thin air, cold temperatures and remote locations, that second home in Kartso township proved to be a challenge. It served as a sanctuary for wildlife, such as wild yaks, Tibetan antelopes and other rare species.

As residents' demand for material goods grew, the livestock feeding problem became increasingly prominent. To address the ecological and developmental dilemma, improve living conditions and establish a robust national ecological security barrier, the regional government initiated a relocation effort in 2018.

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