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In the ceremony of Vale Award on Innovative Public Participation in Western China Ecological Conservation hosted at the National Convention Center on June 29th, The Pendeba Society was awarded with the top prize – the Special Project Award for its Nature Conservation and Community Development Project and 250,000 yuan as the project fund. Mr. Tsering Norbu, Director of The Pendeba Society accepted the award on behalf of this project. Mr. JIA Feng, Director of the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s Center for Environmental Education and Communication (CEEC) awarded him with the certificate and trophy. “Thank you for all your support for the Pendeba Project. We will continue our efforts on the project and make it better,” Tsering Norbu enthused in his acceptance speech that indicated the hard work of Pendeba staff in Tibet for more than twenty years. Since the official launch of the Pendeba Project in 1994, the Project and later The Pendeba Society has created a bottom-up conservation and development model through the hard work by Future Generations and The Pendeba Society staff, participatory trainings and active community involvement, and the trainings of pendebas to lead local communities to better practice environmental conservation and achieve lasting community development in the Mt. Everest region. In the event of final examination on the morning of June 29th, the presentation by Tsering Norbu has gained praise and support from the demanding judging panel and the Pendeba Project was accepted in consensus as an innovative sustainable development model and therefore awarded the prize.
On June 11, 2011, The Pendeba Society received a workgroup of 6 people from Chinese National Geography (CNG) magazine and ONE Foundation who was on their mission to visit schools located in the Mt. Everest region.
We had a very interactive conversation with senior staff from both organizations including Ms. CAI Huaye, CEO of CNG New Media and Ms. Amy Shu, Deputy Director of Partnership Development from ONE Foundation. During the conversation we introduced The Pendeba Society to our guests and discussed our work strategies and past and current projects in QNNP. We also showed our guests around the Exhibition Hall at the Training Center, giving brief introduction of QNNP’s geographical and social settings in front of QNNP’s topographical sand modes.
Our guests all expressed keen interest in the work of The Pendeba Society, and we hope that possible collaboration can be explored with both organizations in the near future.
From June to August 2011, The Pendeba Society will be conducting a full survey of 323 pendebas who received trainings between 1994 and 2011. The purpose of this survey is to build a detailed database for pendebas, identify and evaluate the impacts those pendebas have had on their communities, and to determine key focuses for The Pendeba Society’s future projects in QNNP.
Teamed up by Tsering Norbu, LIU Rongkun and Norbu Dundup, a Tingri native who just joined The Pendeba Society for this project, the survey officially started on June 6, 2011 by first looking for pendebas residing in neighboring townships and villages in Tingri County. The first day’s results were very positive and we have got full profiles of 6 pendebas who attended the pendeba trainings in 2010 and 2007. These pendebas include the village leader of Enba Village of Zhaguo Township and women’s leaders of Banglai and Zhaga Villages. And from June 7 to 8, we have got another 19 pendebas’ information from Shegar Town’s Linsa, Qulai, Maxia Villages, and others. These pendebas all expressed their appreciation of being a pendeba and keen interest in participating in The Pendeba Society’s future trainings.
On May 29, 2011, The Pendeba Society met with Mr. Tashi Tsering, eminent Tibetan educationalist and founder of Tashi Tsering Education Fund, and was honored to receive 50 sets of New Trilingual (English-Tibetan-Chinese) Dictionary donated by the Fund. The Pendeba Society would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Tashi Tsering Education Fund for their generous support and help, and hopes to enhance our collaboration in the near future.
(Photo: Norbu presents a Letter of Thank You to Ms. Tsering Wangmo, Director of Tashi Tsering Education Fund)
On May 19th, 2011, The Pendeba Society received a group of entrepreneurs including Mr. LEI Yongsheng, Secretary of LAO NIU Foundation, Ms. ZHANG Min, Supervisor of ONE Foundation and others at our Training Center.
In the morning, The Pendeba Society’s Executive Director, Tsering Norbu first gave a presentation to our honored guests about The Pendeba Society’s workarea, the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve, and then the background of The Pendeba Society and what The Pendeba Society has achieved since its foundation. During the presentation, all the guests expressed their encouragement and support to our work, as well as contributed a number of constructive comments and suggestions, which were of great help to The Pendeba Society’s work in the future.
On May 14, 2011, staff of The Pendeba Society went to Bayi Town in Nyingchi Prefecture, Tibet to meet with the experts and staff of the “Vale Award” Evaluation Team. The “Vale Award” is organized by the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s Center for Environmental Education and Communication (CEEC) and Vale Minerals China, jointly with Shanghai United Foundation (Lianquan). The Pendeba Society is honored to be the first NGO that was nominated for the award in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Attendees included members of the evaluation team such as Mr. XI Zhinong, founder of Wild China Film, Ms. LU Yang of CEEC and Ms. HU Heng of Lianquan, and Mr. Cili Nongbu of FutureGenerations China, Mr. Tsering Norbu and Mr. LIU Rongkun of The Pendeba Society.
Eco-tourism potentials in Qudang, Tibet
By LIU Rongkun, Program Manager
From April 19 to 22, I went on a short trip to Qudang Township in southern Tingri County, where houses the world famous Karma Valley for its richness in outdoors activities. During this trip in addition to meeting with The Pendeba Society’s previous trainees who live in Qudang, I also tried to explore some tourism activities that could involve our past trainees from local communities. The participants of the eco-tourism English training program are very interested in guiding trips in their surrounding areas and I with them experienced some good trails which turned out very adventurous. There are many good outdoor activities that could be explored in Qudang such as rafting and mountaineering in addition to hiking and trekking. These trips are very good for experienced hikers and those who look for adventures in hidden Himalayas. However, to make it happen would require some facility support which The Pendeba Society may be of help in its future development. For example, as discussed in the 2nd council meeting, The Pendeba Society is thinking of setting up a “Karma Valley Pendeba Eco-tourism Collaborative,” where our participants could apply their learned knowledge in reality. In the future, The Pendeba Society could even provide local family guesthouses with small loans or grants, helping them improve their facilities to attract more tourists and increase their income.
On April 15, 2011, The Pendeba Society’s 2nd council meeting was successfully held at Future Generations’ Beijing Office. The meeting was hosted by Prof. Lei Guangchun, Vice Board Chairman of The Pendeba Society, and attended by Tsering Norbu, Executive Director of The Pendeba Society, Cili Nongbu, Deputy Director of Future Generations/CHINA, Maggie Fan, Executive Assistant of Future Generations/CHINA, and other concerned people.
How to communicate effectively has not been easy for everyone, especially development professionals. With an aim to help project staff in the field, ICIMOD held a 4-day workshop titled “Knowledge Sharing in Asia,” with support by IFAD and FAO from April 3-6, 2011 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Pendeba Society’s Tsering Norbu and LIU Rongkun were glad to be invited to attend this workshop where other 30 participants across 10 counties in Hindu Kush-Himalayan region also partook to hone their English writing skills and facilitate knowledge sharing between and among various intended audiences and stakeholders.
Bathed under spring breezes in Kathmandu valley, our participants got together and shared the challenges that they faced from their past writing experiences. This workshop provided participants with basic skills and tools required to ensure that knowledge, development experience, and lessons learned from them were adequately captured and shared through proper writing. Divided into small groups, participants took a closer look at and investigated various writing types such as newsletters, web contents, case studies, reports, and policy briefs.
On March 18, 2011, led by Mr. Tsering Norbu, 12 of outstanding trainees from the Pendeba Society’s hospitality and eco-tourism English trainings officially set off for a 10-day study tour to Lhasa and Shannan, where they were exposed to various aspects of Tibetan culture and was able to practice their learnt knowledge during the tour. This tour is expected to bring the participants with inspiring perspectives towards their future and their roles in sustainable rural development in their respective communities, which is also what the Pendeba Society has been striving for: cultivating more Pendebas, i.e., volunteer community-service workers, to enhance the community’s capacity to participate in nature reserve management, and promote sustainable development within these communities.