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We are pleased to share the Pendeba Society's Annual Report 2011, which can be downloaded here, or under publication section of the website:
Letter from the Executive Director
Dear friends and colleagues:
2011 marked the third year of the Pendeba Society since its establishment in 2009. In the past year, with dynamic teamwork efforts and the support from the Sociey’s Council, the Society has been active in communicating its projects via multiple channels and expanding the impact, and has received better understanding, ample assistance and support from various circles of society. And we successfully implemented a number of projects that promote environmental conservation and community development in the preserve including wetland conservation, conventional sheep corrals transformation, farmland protection and general Pendeba trainings, etc. In the course of project implementation, we have received generous support from concerned government departments and several domestic and international foundations as well as well-known enterprises.
In June 2011, the Pendeba Society received the top prize of Vale Award on Innovative Public Participation in Western China Ecological Conservation – the Special Project Award for its Nature Conservation and Community Development Project and 250,000 yuan as the project fund. And in December, the Project again was selected by Ford Green Awards Committee for the top prize of Nature Conservation Pioneer Award with 200,000 yuan as the project fund. Moreover, the Pendeba Society was conferred with “Outstanding Social Organization of Tibet Autonomous Region 2011” from the Government of TAR. These honors came as solid approvals of the work that the Society has been done, and also witnessed the growth of the Society. Many government departments, experts, domestic and international organizations, in particular Mr. LEI Yongsheng, Secretary of LAO NIU Foundation, have expressed their interest in the Society, and hope that the Society can draw best practices and become a pioneer in catalyzing development in poor regions and amplifying conservation efforts for better natural reserve management.
Recently, the Pendeba Society was conferred with "Outstanding Social Organization of Tibet Autonomous Region 2011" from the Government of TAR. This honor comes as an official approval of the work that the Society has been done, and also witnessed the growth of the Society. At this moment, the Pendeba Society would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Non-governmental Organization Management Bureau of TAR, and those who constantly support the Society, and the efforts for environmental conservation and community development in the Mt. Everest region. In the years ahead, the Pendeba Society will be more devoted and work even harder!
Featured on the Chinese Government Official Web Portal, the Pendeba Program was depicted as “having brought noticeable achievements.”
The program, started in 1994, was in response to the growing need for local participation in the protection of the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve (QNNP) in the Mt. Everest Region. This innovative program relies on a new type of conservation and community service volunteer, known as a Pendeba. Pendebas are locally nominated volunteers from each village within the protected area who improve family health, advance options for income generation, spread conservation concepts, and organize collaborative action around local priorities. In QNNP, these volunteers have helped to decrease child mortality by 50% and reduce deforestation by 80%.
From 1994-2010, more than 1200 Pendebas were trained to bring benefits to villages in three protected areas of Tibet. In 1998, the United Nations recognized the program as one of the world’s most successful examples of sustainable human development.
In the ceremony of Ford Green Awards 2011 held in Beijing on December 2nd, The Pendeba Society was awarded with the top prize of Nature Conservation Pioneer Award for its Nature Conservation and Community Development Project and 200,000 yuan as the project fund. Mr. Tsering Norbu, Director of The Pendeba Society accepted the award on behalf of this project. Mr. Joe Hinrichs, President, Asia Pacific and Africa Ford Motor Company and Chairman and CEO, Ford Motor (China) Ltd., who described the Pendeba Project as respectful, awarded Tsering Norbu with the certificate and trophy. Along with The Pendeba Society, another 29 excellent individual environmentalists and civil environmental organizations were also awarded with Ford Green Awards prizes.
The Pendeba Project, through a variety of projects that promote ecological conservation, social welfare improvement and alternative livelihoods development in the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve, aims to ameliorate local communities’ living standards and the surrounding environment, which in return stimulates sustainable use of natural resources and creates rapport between human and the Nature in the region. The Ford Green Awards (Pioneer Award and Communication Award), launched on August 1st, has attracted around 120 applications from concerned individual environmentalists and civil society organizations across China. After several rounds of evaluation and assessment procedures including on-site surveys, telephone interviews and oral examination in house, the Committee of Ford Green Awards finally selected the awardees.
On October 28, 2011, staff of The Pendeba Society came to Enba Village to deliver a workshop on public healthcare, environmental conservation in QNNP and on-going projects of the Society. Over 70 villagers participated in the workshop including the village chief Mr. Sonam Tsering. We were also glad to have Party Secretary of Gangga Township, Mr. Dawa Tsering at our workshop, who showed pertinent interest and support in our project in Enba Village.
We were first warmly welcomed by the attendees followed by the introduction of Mr. Sonam Tsering. And then, Norbu took the lead of the workshop, introducing to the villagers knowledge about public sanitation, mother-child healthcare, environmental conservation in QNNP as well as The Pendeba Society and its current projects in QNNP’s four counties. The workshop was formally closed by Mr. Dawa Tsering, who in his closure remarks emphasized what Norbu has mentioned about environmental protection and public healthcare. He said that “We can do little to generate a great deal of fortune for our future generations, but what we can do is to better conserve our natural environment and resources for them.” He also expressed his appreciation toward our project and its impact, and would help with the project communication within local governments.
Followed by the workshop is the ceremony delivering 98 sets of small solar power lighting systems to the village members. Our project in Enba Village does not only aim to better conserve wetland resources near the village by transforming conventional sheep corrals into ones that are more sustaining and environmentally friendly, we also intend to improve the village’s living conditions in terms of lighting at nights given the village still does not have access to regular electricity supply.
Mr. Sonam Tsering, on behalf of the village extended their gratitude to The Pendeba Society for the project. In the meantime, we are also very appreciative of the village’s keen participation and active involvement, without which the project cannot be finished in time. In particular, we are also grateful to the government of Tingri County and Gangga Town. With their generous support, we therefore are able to smoothly and successfully carry out the project. It has vividly demonstrated our work strategy that we live up to over the past decades – the “Three-way Partnership” that involves "bottom-up" initiative from communities, "top-down" support from government agencies, and "outside-in" training and support from organizations.
On October 18, 2011, our forth project of Vale Award was launched in Tingri County’s Enba Village. Led by Mr. Sonam Tsering, the village chief, over 160 village members participated in the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of the month.
The project aims to change the conventional sheep corrals in Enba Village into those which are more sustaining and environmentally friendly. It asks villagers to rebuild their sheep corrals by using clay bricks or fortifying current corrals instead of digging wetland earth masses from neighboring wetland along Pengchu River – QNNP’s largest river. The conventional sheep corrals made of wetland earth masses have imposed very destructive impacts on wetland ecosystems as well as grass production for livestock.
In the meantime, since Enba Village still does not have access to regular electricity supply, the project will also provide each household of Enba Village with a small solar lighting system, reducing the village’s difficulty in lighting at nights. The project will benefit over 400 villagers and 8000 livestock in Enba Village.
On October 15, 2011, Norbu delivered a workshop to 20 project participants of Daqu Village focusing on environmental conservation, introduction of QNNP and on-going projects of The Pendeba Society. The event also marked the successful completion of the Society’s Daqu Farmland and Wetland Protection Project funded by Vale Award.
The project, by setting enclosures around the village’s farmland, aims to protect over 70 hectares’ farmland from being trodden by wandering animals like cattle, houses and sheep and reduce collateral agricultural lost. The protected farmland will ensure increased agricultural productivity and safeguard food security for low income villagers in the community. Additionally, as a main feed for livestock, the leftover of harvested Tibetan barley will also increase, which reduces traditional dependence on natural grassland and stimulates the sustainable development for animal husbandry in the region. In the meantime, it also changes the way how villagers build their farmland fences to be more environmentally friendly. Conventional farmland fences are made of wetland earth masses digging from neighboring wetland, which has imposed very destructive impacts on wetland ecosystems as well as grass production for livestock. The project provides benefits to over 500 villagers and more than 8000 livestock in Daqu Village.
This project echoes with our another project in Tingri’s Enba Village, which also aims to change the conventional sheep corrals that are made of wetland earth masses from neighboring wetlands along Pengqu River – QNNP’s largest river. And this project will be launched soon and is expected to complete by the end of the month.
Mr. Nanchu Ouzhu, Daqu Village Chief on behalf of the village expressed gratitude to The Pendeba Society for the project and hopes that more projects of such will be carried out in his village in the near future. The Pendeba Society is also appreciative of Daqu community for their active participation and contribution to this project, without which it cannot be a success. After the workshop, a project assessment was also conducted where we gathered valuable information about the community’s attitudes toward our project and their need, which will be of great help to planning our future projects for the community.
On October 12, 2011, our third project of Vale Award was launched in Tingkey County’s Rongkong Village. Led by Mr. Suolun, Director of QNNP Management Bureau Tingkey Branch, and the village chief, over 15 village members participated in the construction of the project, which is expected to be completed by the middle of the month.
The project, by setting hedges around the village’s windbreak, aims to protect about 3000 square meters’ windbreak trees from being trodden and destroyed by wandering dzhos and cattle. It will also protect small areas of farmland in between the woods. After the project, the windbreak’s ecological service in terms of lessening the force of the wind and fixing the sand will be better conserved and enhanced. In the meantime, better preserved green belt also contributes to the beautification of the village, making the village a more pleasant place to live. The project will then benefit 12 households and over 120 villagers in Rongkong.
Furthermore, a workshop on environmental conservation and windbreak services will also be conducted later after the completion of the project by Mr. Soulun, an experienced conservationist who has been working in QNNP for the past 18 years. The Pendeba Society would like to express our cordial gratitude to Mr. Suolun for his generous support and help on this project and we wish to deepen our cooperation and partnership in the near future, which we believe will surely bring concrete benefits to the conservation and stimulate community development in Tingkey County.
Additionally, thanks also go to Ms. Ciyang, Reporter from Tibet Television, who donated several bags of clothing. The clothing has been handed to Mr. Suolun, and will be given to those who need most, including people from Rongkong to have a warm winter.
On October 8, 2011, our second project of Vale Award was launched in Nyalam County’s Daqu Village. Led by Mr. Nanchu Ouzhu, Daqu’s Village Chief and other village leaders, over 120 village members participated in the construction of the project, which is expected to be completed by the middle of the month.
The project, by setting enclosures around the village’s farmland, aims to protect over 70 hectares’ farmland from being trodden by wandering animals like cattle, houses and sheep and reduce collateral agricultural lost. The protected farmland will ensure increased agricultural productivity and safeguard food security for low income villagers in the community. In the meantime, as a main feed for livestock, the leftover of harvested Tibetan barley will also increase, which reduces traditional dependence on natural grassland and stimulates the sustainable development for animal husbandry in the region. It will benefit over 500 villagers and more than 8000 livestock in Daqu Village.
On the other hand, traditional enclosures of the village’s farmland are made of earth blocks dug from the neighboring wetland, which also brings about expansive destruction to ecosystems of wetland and grassland where uprooted grasslands cannot be easily recovered at this altitude of 4300 meters high. By using wire enclosures, it will therefore end such unsustainable and environmentally unfriendly activities, and leave time and space for destructed wetland to restore, where conservation can be achieved for animals living on such natural resource.
The Pendeba Society would like to express our sincere gratitude to Vale Award and the Government of Nailong Township, who provide funding and other support to make this project run smoothly. We also like to thank Daqu villagers because without their active participation and involvement, this project cannot be implemented this early. By the end of the project, follow-up lectures will then delivered to Daqu community on environmental conservation and community development.
This is just a beginning of our conservation effort. In the near future, The Pendeba Society will apply various approaches such as traditional sheep corral transformation to better conserve the wetland and grassland that exist along Pengqu River, the largest river in QNNP.
On October 6, 2011, Mr. Norbu delivered a workshop to 50 project participants of Chuxi Village focusing on public healthcare, wetland management, environmental conservation in QNNP and on-going projects of The Pendeba Society. The event also marked the successful completion of the Society’s Chuxi Wetland Conservation Project funded by Vale Award.
The project, by setting up a 1200-meter long enclosure around a small area of 10 hectare’s wetland near Chuxi Village, does not only protect the precious wetland ecosystems and feed for the livestock of the village, it also protects the farmlands nearby from being trodden and destroyed by horses seeking for food. The protected wetland also ensures a lasting water source that flows around the farmland and provides critical irrigation water resource for sustainable agricultural production.
Mr. Basang, Chuxi Village Chief on behalf of the village expressed gratitude to The Pendeba Society for the project and hopes that more projects of such will be carried out in his village in the near future. The Pendeba Society is also appreciative of Chuxi community for their active participation and contribution to this project, without which it cannot be a success. After the workshop, a project assessment was also conducted where we gathered valuable information about the community’s attitudes toward our project and their need, which will be of great help to planning our future projects for the community.
P.S. Our projector went broken at the end of the workshop, unfortunately. And we hope we may repair it as soon as possible in order to make sure the following workshops run successfully.