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Vertical Structure of Decision Making in the Himalaya Cultural Perspective of HES Tutorial Majka Baur, Lis Cloos, Miriam Kittinger, Eren Yesil
Outline • Introduction • Environmental problems and their origins • Vertical structure of Himalaya • Factors influencing decisions • Examples • Individual position • Community level • Discussion: HES framework • Conclusion
Environmental Problems in Nepal • Deforestation and land degradation • Energy Situation • Urban Development and Pollution • Water Pollution
Vertical Structure • of the Himalaya • of the casts
Vertical Structure of the Himalaya 5 main levels of altitude • Tarai: 100-140 m • Bhabar: 140-400 m • Siwalik mountain range: 400-1200 m • Himalaya premountain range: ~2000-4000 m • Himalaya mountain range: ~ 4000-8000 m
Structure of the casts • Brahman: priests • Kshatria: administrators • Vaishya: farmers, craftsmen • Shudra: services to society • Paria: unclean work clean altitude unclean
OUTCOME society environment economy external factors Where are the vertical structures? INPUT Factors influencing decisions
Examples • Constrains and decisions of individuals • Decisons at a community level • Example of responses to innovation
school migration? children future work military male/female 1 social status? 2 children marriage 3 caste/ethnic group/origin village 4 How many children “find a good family” 5 economic advantages? dowry/land/job “insurance” for old age Cluster of choices that a working married man has to take about children… Economical burden or work alleviation?
Location: Simiko, Humal Distric, Nepal Example - Responses to Innovation in an Insecure Environment in Rural Nepal
Remote area High elevation Harsh environment Short growing season Food shortage Little trade High infant mortality Political instability because of the Maoist insurgency Example - Responses to Innovation in an Insecure Environment in Rural Nepal
Holistic community development project promoted by an NGO Most urgent community needs: Elementary lighting Smokeless metal stove Pit latrine Access to safe drinking water system Example - Responses to Innovation in an Insecure Environment in Rural Nepal
Observation: In ethnic and occupational homogenous villages, poorer families were more reluctant to change Why? Higher social risk perception Less reserves in case of failure Example - Responses to Innovation in an Insecure Environment in Rural Nepal
Possible Inconsistencies with the local worldview Hinduism: everything is one Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and the course of the world Animistic origin: Nature = God -> don‘t harm nature Nature = God -> cannot influence nature Are there such things as goals for SD, environmental awareness, feedbackloops? HES framework
Conclusion • Only with a deep understanding of the local cultures and the assotiated worldviews and perceptions there is a chance to promote a sustainable environmental management.
Any questions? Thank you for your attention
Literature • Haffner, W. (1979): Nepal Himalaya: Untersuchungen zum vertikalen Landschaftsaufbau Zentral-und Ostnepals. Erdwissenschaftliche Forschung Bd.12, Wiesbaden. • Chaudhary, R.P.(1985): The Nepalese Environment: Problems, Policies and Prospects. The Environmentalist, Volume 5, Number 1, 51-53. • ADB, ICIMOD (2006): Environment Assessment of Nepal – Emerging Issues and Challenges. Asian Development Bank/ICIMOD. • Mckay, K.H., Sanders, C. (2007), Responses to innovation in an insecure environment in rural Nepal, Mountain Research and Development.