Culture, Politics and Conservation on the Tibetan Plateau

Chinese Studies Research Centre, La Trobe University

Protecting Wetlands and Respecting Water Spirits: Culture, Politics and Conservation on the Tibetan Plateau

Dr Samantha Grover, Research Fellow, Department of Animal, Plant and Soil Sciences, La Trobe University
Dr Ruth Gamble, David Myers Research Fellow at La Trobe University; environmental and cultural historian

2:30pm-4:00pm,  Thursday 16 March 2017
Boardroom (Room 318), Education 2, La Trobe University, Melbourne

Almost half of the world’s population lives in the Tibetan Plateau’s watershed. Most of Asia’s largest rivers, including the Yellow, Yangtze, Mekong, Salween, Brahmaputra and Indus descend from the Tibetan Plateau, and it stabilises Asia’s monsoonal weather systems. But this watershed is under threat from climate change and increased activity.

The sustainable protection of these wetlands will require not only the support of local government but also guidance from local monasteries about how to enact this preservation without disrespecting local water spirits called glu (pronounced “lu”), which the Tibetans view as the waters’ guardians. To respond to this challenge, Sam has joined forces with David Myers Research Fellow Ruth Gamble, an environmental and cultural historian of the Tibetan Plateau. Their transdisciplinary approach seeks to facilitate a dialogue between those with scientific and local knowledge of these wetlands. In this seminar, they will present the outline of their collaborative research, its potential positive impact and some of the problems it may encounter.

For more information and registration:,-politics-and-conservation-on-the-tibetan-plateau

Please register before 15 March 2017.