Presenters, Keynotes, and Discussants

Wang Aiming

Program Officer, Global Environmental Institute, Qinghai Tibetan Research Association

Wang Aiming joined the Global Environmental Institute in January 2006 after completing his second master’s degree in forestry management at Oregon State University. Wang brings extensive experience from the Division of International Cooperation at the Chinese Academy of Forestry where he worked for five years. He also worked for the Department of International Cooperation at the State Forestry Administration of China following the completion of his first master’s degree in Economics at Beijing University.


Kenneth Bauer

Lecturer, Darthmouth College

Kenneth Bauer is a scholar and researcher on a range of socio-economic issues facing the Tibetan plateau, particularly pastoralist lifestyles and their interactions with the environment and community development. Dr. Bauer earned his Ph.D. in International Development from the University of Oxford, and holds a M.Sc. in Rangeland Management from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Bauer has held faculty positions at Dartmouth College, Brandeis University, and the University of Vermont, where he was an assistant professor in the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics. He is also the president of DROKPA, a non-profit organization dedicated to grassroots development projects in the Himalayas and Central Asia in the fields of alternative energy, education, and community health.


Naran Bilik,

Distinguished Professor, Director, Minzu Research Center, Fudan University

Born in Inner Mongolia, Naran Bilik is the director and professor of Minzu Research Center at Fudan University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Inner Mongolia Studies, a master’s degree in Ethnology and Ph.D. in Linguistics from Central University of Nationalities in Beijing. He is interested in languages and anthropology, ethnicity and race, education for minorities, and East Asian studies. In 2001, Dr. Bilik traveled to Carleton College as Freeman Visiting Professor of Anthropology, following which he became the Visiting Bernstein Chair of Anthropology and East Asian Studies in 2003. He has published more than one hundred papers and books, such as On Personal Names, Contemporary Construction of Ethnicity, China’s Minorities on the Move.


Wen Bo

Program Director, National Geographic Society Air and Water Conservation Fund

Wen Bo is the program director of National Geographic Society’s Air and Water Conservation Fund. He was previously the China Program Director at Pacific Environment. Since joining Pacific Environment in 2001, he has supported over 40 grassroots environmental groups in China through extensive development and production of exchange programs, workshops and presentations. Prior to joining Pacific Environment, Wen Bo worked as an editor and journalist for China Environment News from 1996 to 1998. Wen Bo received his master’s degree in international relations at the KDI School of International Policy and Management in Seoul, South Korea and, prior to that, graduated from the China School of Journalism in Beijing.


Bill Chou

Associate Professor, University of Macau

Bill Chou is associate professor at the Department of Government and Public Administration, University of Macau. He spent his formative years in Hong Kong and worked in Macau for more than 10 years. After receiving his PhD from the University of Hong Kong, he has held visiting positions at UCLA, Technical University of Lisbon, National University of Singapore, Asian Development Bank Institute, and City University of Hong Kong. He has authored the book Government and Policy-Making Reform in China: The Implications of Governing Capacity (London; New York: Routledge, 2009), and co-edited China’s Policies on Its Borderlands and the International Implications (Singapore: World Scientific, 2011). His works have also been published in Journal of Contemporary China, Chinese Education and Society, China Information, and International Journal of Public Administration.

Rinchen Dawa

Associate Director, Qinghai Tibetan Research Association

Rinchen Dawa has served as the associate director of the Qinghai Tibetan Research Association since 2010. In 2001, he established the Snowland Service Group, the first NGO in Yushu. Six years later, he was invited by U.S. Department of State and traveled to the United States through the International Visitor Leadership Program. Since then, Mr. Dawa has actively attended numerous NGO-related conferences and forums, including the NGO Capacity Building and China Charity National Conference in 2008, the China Private Foundation Forum in 2010 and 2011, and the Current Situation of Chinese Civil Society held by China Development Brief in 2013.


Wang Deqiang (Ronba Tashi)

Vice President, Professor, Yunnan University of Nationalities

Wang Deqiang (Ronba Tashi) is currently the vice president of Yunnan University of Nationalities and the associate director of China Southwest Nationalities Research Association and Yunnan Tibetology Research Association. His research areas include sustainable development, regional economic development, the Tibetan monastic economy, and sustainable tourism in the Shangri-La region. Wang Deqiang is the primary researcher of national, provincial and university research teams in Tibetan regional development. His published reports include Internal Factors and Patterns of Tibetan Monastic Economy, Analysis of Rural Tibetans’ Financial Behaviors in Yunnan. Currently, he is undertaking two national research projects on “Patterns and Transitions of Shangri-La Regional Economic Growth” and “Research on Industrial Growth in Tibetan Region”. In 2005, his book Sustainable Development in Yunnan Tibetan Region received a national social science award.


Tserang Dhondrup

Tibetan Historian, Ganzi TAP Archives

Derong Tserang Dhondrup is the director and deputy secretary-general of Sichuan Tibetan Studies. He has compiled a historical monograph with more than 1.3 million words in Chinese: General History of Tibet. Dhondrup has made forward-looking suggestions regarding Tibetan plateau’s ecology and environmental protection in many articles and books. Some were published in the Policy Research Office of CPC Central Committee Journal and his Fifteen measures regarding Tibetan plateau ecology and environment protection was included in Sichuan province’s Development and Reform Commission’s The plan of ecological and environmental protection on the southeastern border of Tibetan plateau.


Hashi Tashi Dorje 

Secretary General, Snowland Great Rivers Environmental Protection Association (SGR-EPA), Yushu Prefecture, Qinghai

In 1998, Hashi Tashi Dorje established the Snowland Great Rivers Environmental Protection Association, the first local environmental protection organization in Tibet. Following this success, he launched the Yushu county-level Ecological Protection Management Commission, four village-level Ecological Protection Management Commissions, and five natural reserves in Suojia Township. In addition, Hashi Tashi Dorje created and added an environmental protection course to Yushu Zhiduo County Nationalities Middle School’s syllabus, marking the first time a Tibetan Plateau middle school has had such a course available. Hashi Tashi Dorje currently serves as Secretary General for the SGR-EPA, and is dedicated to protecting the unique environment of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau though promoting indigenous environmental practices through wildlife monitoring, village video-based education, community resource management, and wildlife habitat restoration


Mark Elliott

Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History; Harvard University; Director, Harvard Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Mark C. Elliott is the Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University and the Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. He is the author of two books, The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China (Stanford, 2001) and Emperor Qianlong: Son of Heaven, Man of the World (Longman, 2009), along with numerous articles.  He is best known as an influential figure in the "New Qing History," an approach to the history of post-1600 China stressing the importance of Inner Asian political and military institutions in shaping the last empire.  Educated at Yale and Berkeley, Elliott studied for many years in Taiwan, mainland China, and Japan. At Harvard, he teaches courses on the history of China and Inner Asia as well as classes in Manchu and Mongolian language. He is the chair of Harvard's PhD Committee in History and East Asian Languages.


Tashi Fan Kun

Researcher and Executive Secretary General, Research Center for Peace and Reconciliation, The Charhar Institute

Born in Gannam Amdo, Tashi Fang Kun graduated from Peking University with master's degree in New Media and Society, Communication Studies. Tashi is interested in ethnic policy in China, minority rights, ethic civil society, pluralistic society in China, inter-ethnic communication, ethnic conflict and reconciliation and public diplomacy. Fang is currently Ethnic Research Consultant of Heinrich Böll Stiftung China Programme in Germany.


Alain-G. Gagnon

Professor, Political Science, Universite du Quebec a Montreal

Alain-G. Gagnon is Canada Research Chair in Quebec and Canadian studies and a professor of Political Science at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He is a graduate of Simon Fraser University, and received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Carleton University in 1983. He is a founding member of the Research Group on Multinational Societies and is director of an emerging research center on diversity in Québec (CRIDAQ : Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la diversité au Québec) which brings together thirty researchers. Dr. Gagnon previously served as Director of the Quebec Studies Program at McGill University from 1992 to 2003.


John H. Gerstle 

C.E., MNIF, Principal, Gerstle and Company LLC

John H. Gerstle is the principal of Gerstle & Company LLC, a consulting firm specializing in planning and management of natural resources and evaluation of associated environmental and social impacts. Mr. Gerstle holds graduate degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Presently, he serves as Planning Commissioner and Chairman of the Planning Commission for Boulder County, Colorado, USA, and as advisor/expert witness for various clients on resource management and evaluation of environmental and social impacts. Mr. Gerstle previously served as an advisor on water rights and resource management and as manager of social and environmental studies and impact mitigation for World Bank-funded projects in Tanzania from 1995 until 2002, and as UNDP Regional Program Advisor for Water Resources Management and Environment in the Himalayan Region, following two and a half years as Resident Advisor/Project Management Expert in the Planning Commission, Royal Government of Bhutan. Mr. Gerstle’s experience includes expert testimony in Courts of Law on land and water development, river treaties and water rights, participation in multiple purpose project feasibility studies, and master plan development for river basin management in Bhutan, Burma/Myanmar, Laos, Nepal, Tanzania, China, Mozambique and the USA. 


Wang Hong

Vice Director, IMEG, Development Research Center, Chinese State Council

Wang has long been engaged in international relations studies, particularly South Asia and Pakistan relations. Wang was the associate editor of Asia and Africa Review and published multiple research reports on Contemporary International Relationsand World Affairs. This year, Wang edit many internal materials, such as Religious Propaganda in the Internet Era and Fundamentalism in American Religion. At present her interests include: ethnic and religious problem in China, religion and international relations, religion and security, etc.

Li Hongjie

Associate Professor, Minzu Research Center, State Ethnic Affairs Commission

Li Hongjie is the associate director for the Minzu Research Center at the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, a position he has held since 1998. From 1985 to 1998, he served at the Minzu Theory and Policy Research Institute, also at the State Ethnic Affairs Commission. His influential works include From Self-determination to Self-governance and From Dormancy to Resuscitation. Li Hongjie is the visiting professor of Minzu University of China and teaches the course “Minzu Affairs Management”. He received his bachelors and masters degrees in International Politics from Beijing University.


Zhao Huiyu

Associate Professor of Institute of Environmental and Natural Resource Law, School of Law, Shanghai Jiaotong University

Zhao Huiyu is an associate professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University. She received a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Henan Institute of Finance and Economics in 1996, an LLM degree from Zhengzhou University in 2001, and a JD degree from Wuhan University in 2004. Her interests include environmental law, energy law, Chinese judicial systems and reform, and natural resource law. Zhao Huiyu has published numerous articles, including Ecological Risk and Countermeasure Strategies of Forest Rights ReformEco-environmental Protect Law and Mechanism System in the Diversion Project from South to North, and The Functions of Environmental Law in China’s new type of industrialization. Between February 2012 and February 2013, she was also a visiting scholar at the University of Maryland School of Law.


Liu Jianqiang

Chief Editor, China Dialogue

Liu Jianqiang is the Beijing Editor of, an online bilingual forum on environmental issues in China. He is the author of Heavenly Beads: A Tibetan Legend (2009), a seminal book on Tibetan conservationists, as well as The Last Raft on the Jinsha River (2012). In his previous position as senior investigative reporter with Southern Weekend, China's most influential investigative newspaper, he became renown for his exposés of the controversial Tiger Leaping Gorge dams in southern Yunnan, genetically modified rice, and the Summer Palace Lake Reconstruction Project, all of which led to shifts in government policy. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal’s study of investigative journalism in China as well as in China Ink, as the Changing Face of Chinese Journalism. Mr. Liu is also a visiting researcher of Peking University Center for Nature and Society and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from Qinghua University.

Manla Kyi

Co-Chair, TGAP Forum; Regional Associate Director, Tibet Governance Project

Manla Kyi is a leading specialist in Tibetan education and language policy issues and was the Co-Chair of the Tibet Governance and Practice Forum on Language Policy and Practice, held in Montreal, Quebec, in May 2012. She has taught at Qinghai Nationalities University and has conducted field research throughout the Tibetan region. She holds a Masters of Education from Columbia University and is a PhD candidate at the University of Hong Kong.


Wanma Lhundrup

Director, Research Institute, Qinghai Nationalities Affairs Commission

A trained socio-linguist, Wanma Lhundrup is currently the director of the research division of the Qinghai Ethnic Affairs Commission. He also serves as the associate director of the Qinghai Tibetan Ancient Books Research Institute and Qinghai Tibetan Literature Translation Association, and assistant secretary general of the Minority Education Association and Qinghai Tibetan Research Association. He also works as a specialist for the Cultural Ecology Protection Project of the State Ministry of Culture and as a consultant for the Yushu Earthquake Reconstruction Project of Qinghai Provincial Government. His research interests include Tibetan linguistic history, language loss, language contacts, bilingual education and environmental protection. Wanma Lhundrup has received several awards from national and provincial governments for his research and recommendations on bilingual education development.


Ralph Litzinger

Professor of Anthropology, Duke University

Ralph Litzinger is professor of Anthropology at Duke University and has been conducting research in China since 1988. He obtained a Ph.D. and M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Washington. Dr. Litzinger’s current research interests include border ecologies, bio-politics, activism and advocacy in labor, education rights, and the environment, as well as migrants in China. He is the author of Other Chinas: the Yao and the Politics of National Belonging (2000), the first major ethnographic study to examine the role of minority intellectuals in the critique of Chinese socialism. Litzinger has also published many articles in a multitude of journals, including China Quarterly (The Mobilization of Nature: Perspectives from Northwest Yunnan), Political And Legal Anthropology Review (Contested Sovereignties and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund), South Atlantic Quarterly, China Review(Damming the Angry River). Dr. Litzinger is currently working on two books, Border Ecologies: Environmentalism and Migration in New Millennial China and Development and Displacement: China and its Global Footprint, as well as conducting research for a collection of essays titled The End of Shangri-La: Life beyond Protest and Patriotism.


Egil Lothe

Director, China Project, Oslo Coalition for the Freedom of Religion or Belief

Egil Lothe is the director of the China Project of the Oslo Coalition for the Freedom of Religion or Belief, and has long been engaged in inter-religious dialogue and promotion of freedom of religion internationally.  From 2006 to 2010 he was party to the official Sino-Norwegian Dialogue on Human Rights.  Since 1987 Egil Lothe has been president of the Buddhist Federation of Norway, a government recognized faith community of 13 Buddhist associations with about 13,000 members.  In that capacity, he has been the leader of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities in Norway (1999-2003).  He has been a member of the executive committee of the International Council of the Day of Vesak in Thailand since 2008. In 2011 he was elected vice-president of the European Buddhist Union.  Egil Lothe was born in 1954 in Norway. He has studied Buddhism in Asia as well as in Europe. He received his MA in Religious studies, including studies of Pali and Sanskrit, from the University of Oslo in 1987 with a thesis on “Concept of Mission in Theravada Buddhism." He has authored a number of books and articles on Buddhism and related topics. 

Darrin Magee

Associate Professor, Director of Asian Environmental Studies Initiative, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Darrin Magee is an assistant professor of Environmental Studies and the Director of the Asian Environmental Studies Initiative at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in China Studies from the University of Washington. Dr. Magee’s scholarly interests include energy, water, environment, and infrastructure in large-scale hydropower in China and Southeast Asia; trade in waste; and geographies of energy, waste, and garbage. Dr. Magee has had articles published in numerous journals, including the Journal of Environmental Management(Hydropower and Sustainability: Resilience and Vulnerability in China's Powersheds), The China Quarterly(Powershed Politics: Yunnan Hydropower under Great Western Development), Chinese Science Bulletin(Transboundary hydrological effects of dam construction on the Lancang River), China Economic Review(Socioeconomic vulnerability in China's hydropower development), Asian Geography(Beyond Three Gorges: Nu River Hydropower and Energy Decision Politics in China), and Water Alternatives (Perspectives on the salience and magnitude of dam impacts for hydro development scenarios in China). 



Conservationist, Director, Qinghai Lake Environmental Protection Station

Namgyal is a herdsman near Qinghai Lake. In the 1990s, after observing the deterioration of his hometown wetlands and surrounding environment, Namgyal and his family and friends began projects to control desertification, restore grasslands and protect endangered species. For years, Namgyal and other volunteers have been dedicated to cleaning up the region near Qinghai Lake, holding workshops regarding garbage cleaning, and teaching herdsmen about environmental protection. After dedicating most of his financial resources and more than 10 years of hard work to the cause, the ecological environment of Xiaopo Lake has been restored. Today, officials from government and environmental groups consider the lake to be in the best condition in recent history. Under the influence of Namgyal, an increasing number of volunteer groups continue to come to Qinghai Lake to conduct cleanups and monitoring projects, raising awareness regarding the region’s environmental problems. 


Tsering Norbu

Executive Director, Pendepa

Tsering Norbu hails from the Mt. Everest natural reserve area where he developed a passion for environmental protection and community building as a child. Through serving as a Program Coordinator for Foreign Affairs at Nyalam Management Bureau in the Mt. Everest natural reserve area and as program officer for Mt. Everest Protection at the U.S. Mountain Institute, Tsering gained extensive experience in the field of community development and nature preservation. In 2006, he left his stable government job to found his own organization, and after three years of tireless effort and hard work, he launched Pendepa, the first local NGO in the Tibetan area of Shigatse. Mr. Norbu received his master’s degree in Community Development and Natural Protection from the American Future Generations Graduate School in West Virginia.


Yonten Nyima 

Ph.D., Colorado University

Yonten Nyima is a researcher currently affiliated with the Nagchu Meteorological Observatory, Tibet Autonomous Region. His main research interests are related to nomadism, rangeland and natural resource management and monitoring, development and environmental policies, climate change, and cultural politics and boycotts. Dr. Nyima borrows theories from political ecology and political economy to study China-related sustainable development and environmental policies, and their influences on Tibetan society, economy, culture, politics and environment. He holds a B.S. in Meteorology from Nanjing Institute of Meteorology, an M.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Human Geography from the University of Colorado-Boulder.


Kunchok Palzang 

TSERING Project Manager, Winrock International (China)

Kunchok Palzang is the Project Manager for Winrock International China, an organization that works around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources. For over six years, he has worked closely with nomadic communities on environmental issues such as desertification, climate change, waste management and water protection. He also works with other local environmental organizations to create community-based and sustainable approaches to change people’s environmental protection attitudes and practices, and explore possible ways to address present environmental problems and future needs.


Robert Percival

Director, Environmental Law Program, University of Maryland

Percival is a leading scholar in environmental law. For two decades he has been the principal author of the country's most widely used casebook in environmental law, Environmental Regulation: Law, Science & Policy. He is the author of nearly 100 publications that primarily focus on environmental law, as well as federalism, presidential powers, regulatory policy and legal history. Percival has taught as a visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School in 2000 and 2009 and at Georgetown University Law Center in 2005 and 2011. He currently teaches Environmental Law, a Global Environmental Law Seminar, Constitutional Law, and Administrative Law.


Losang Rabgey

Cofounder and Executive Director, Machik

Dr. Losang Rabgey holds a Ph.D. in gender studies and anthropology from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies where she was a Canadian Commonwealth Scholar.  For her work in bridging cultural divides, Dr. Rabgey was recognized as an Emerging Explorer by the National Geographic in 2006, and was selected by the Asia Society as a Young Leader in 2007.  In addition to innovating programs such as Mother's Wish, Machik's women's scholarship program in Amdo, Losang also serves on the board of directors of the Tibetan Himalayan Library and was a founding member of Mechak, the first online gallery of contemporary Tibetan art.  Her interests include social entrepreneurship, women's leadership, rural education and community development in Tibet.  Through Machik, Losang has mentored Tibetan, Chinese and global youth from around the world on intercultural communication and civic dialogue.

Tashi Rabgey

Research Professor, Elliot School of International Studies, George Washington University; Cofounder, Machik

Tashi Rabgey is a Research Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.  She holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and law degrees from Oxford and Cambridge where she was a Rhodes scholar. She is a specialist in Sino-Tibetan affairs and the primary author of the monograph Sino-Tibetan Dialogue in the Post-Mao Era: Lessons and Prospects. Her research areas include legal pluralism, state theory and the politics of multiculturalism. From 2008-11, she held a faculty appointment as Lecturer in Contemporary Tibetan Studies at the University of Virginia where she taught in comparative politics (Ethnic Pluralism and Autonomy in China) and global development studies (Development and Social Change in Tibet).  She is currently a fellow in the Public Intellectuals Program of the National Committee on US- China Relations.


Li Shengzhi 

Associate Researcher, Associate Director of Rural Development Research Institute, Sichuan Provincial Social Science Academy

Dr. Li Shengzhi is the associate researcher and associate director of the Institute of Rural Development, Sichuan Academy of Social Science, and has conducted studies on sustainable management of natural resources and rural governance since 1992. His research focuses particularly on the relation between community-based conservation and construction of community publicity, as well as the roles external interveners and community elites have in sustainable natural resource management. Dr. Li directed a research project funded by the National Philosophy & Social Science Fund, and one by the Sichuan Social Science Planning Fund, in addition to 19 governmental or NGO funded projects. To date, six provincial leaders have officially commented on his policy recommendations. Serving as director or project manager within organizations such as GTZ, WWF, CI and Beijing Shanshui Conservation Center, Dr. Li managed various conservation or development projects conducted in the Tibetan areas of Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and TAR.


Dowa Kunsang Sherab (Li Qing)

Former Commissioner, Qinghai Provincial Committee of Nationalities and Religioius Affairs

Li Qing was formerly the vice governor of Golok Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture as well as the commissioner of Qinghai Provincial Committee of Nationalities and Religious Affairs, the key government organ in making and interpreting the provincial government policy for nationalities. Since his retirement, he has joined the board of directors of Tibetan Research Association (TRA) and remained active in making policy recommendations to governmental bodies. He is also involved in non-governmental educational activities such as allocating scholarships to outstanding Tibetan students. As the current director of the Tibetan Research Association, Li Qing leads research on revitalization of Tibetan language use in the eastern areas of Qinghai province, as well conservation and local histories. 


Wang Shiyong (Kesang Gyamtso)

Professor, Dean, Business School, Qinghai Normal University

Wang Shiyong is a professor at Qinghai Normal University, Qinghai Province, China. He obtained a Master’s degree in International and Public Affairs from Columbia University and holds a Ph.D. in Development Studies from University of Helsinki. Dr. Shiyong has committed himself to development work in Tibet, and has published one book and more than 10 research papers in China and internationally. Dr. Shiyong has also undertaken a provincial research project and participated in a national research project.

Chris Seiple

President, Institute for Global Engagement

Dr. Seiple is the president of the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), a research, education, and diplomatic institution that builds sustainable religious freedom worldwide through local partnerships. He is a member of the Federal Advisory Committee to the U.S. Secretary of State's "Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society," and also serves as senior adviser to the Dialogue's working group on "Religion & Foreign Policy." He is founder of The Review of Faith and International Affairs and the co-editor of The Routledge Handbook on Religion & Security (Routledge, 2012).  A former Marine infantry officer and member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies, he speaks regularly to government audiences regarding the relationship between religion and realpolitik. Dr. Seiple is a graduate of Stanford, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Fletcher School for Law & Diplomacy.


Zhao Shuqing

Director, IEMG, Development Research Center, State Council

Zhao has long been engaged in ethnic and religious studies, particularly Tibet and Xinjiang studies. He also has experience in ethnic and religious policies, which mainly focuses on empirical research.


Gonpo Tashi 

Associate Professor, College of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Tibet University

Gongbo Tashi is an environmental management specialist with keen interest in wheat and highland barley breeding and an associate professor at the College of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry of Tibet University. Since 2007, he has served as the general manager and senior advisor at Plateau Perspectives, an organization that aims to promote sustainable development and conservation on the Tibetan Plateau. He has worked in Mexico, Nepal and the USA and traveled to Eastern Europe, Southern Africa, Sweden, USA and Canada as a visiting scholar. Presently, he is a doctoral candidate at Northwest Agriculture University in Xi’an, with research focusing on breeding and development of Quinoa on Tibetan region. Gonbo Tashi is also involved in environmental management for Hunter Dickinson’s mineral explorations and co-manages Canada’s bilateral aid project in Tibet, formally known as the CIDA Basic Human Needs Project.



Director, Sichuan Academy of Grassland Science

Tsepe is the director of Sichuan Academy of Grassland Science as well as the director of Sichuan Longri Animal Breeding Farm. As a renowned senior pasturage specialist working in Aba, he was certified a national expert in forage industry technology. In 1998 and 2003, he was twice recognized by the Sichuan Provincial Government as a Distinguished Expert for Outstanding Contributions. He also received the Su Zhenhua National Science and Technology Award in 1999, the Wang Yixi Service Award in 2000, and the Outstanding Service in Poverty Alleviation Award, which is jointly bestowed by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the China Association for Science and Technology. Some of his recent publications include Protecting the Grassland Ecological Environment, Improving the Sustainable Development of Animal Husbandry in Northwest Sichuan, and articles such as Strategies for Sustainable Development of Animal Husbandry in Northwest Sichuan and the Practice of the Shared-governance of the Grassland in Hongyuan.


Gonbo Tsering

Ph.D. Candidate, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Beijing University

Gonbo Tsering is a student of natural resource management, mainly specializing in pastoral development and rangeland management at Beijing University. In 2008, he received a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Miriam College in the Philippines, for which he wrote a thesis titled The Impacts of Grassland Privatization Policy on the Grassland Ecosystem and Livestock Productivity: Gyonri Village, Qinghai Province, PRC. He has published several research papers, including The Impact of Grassland Household Contract System on the Grassland Ecosystem and Livestock Productivity in Gyonri, Qinghai Province (in Asian Highland) and Review of China Rangeland Policy Narratives and Development Trends. Gongbo Tsering is also the author of a conference report for “New Perspectives on Climate Resilient Drylands Development” held by International Institute for Environment and Development in Kenya in 2012.


Sonam Wanggye

Researcher, Qinghai Provincial Party School

Sonam Wanggye has been a researcher at Qinghai Province Party School since 2007. After receiving a PhD degree from Northwest University of Nationalities, Dr. Wanggye co-conducted a study on a government relocation project that aimed to protect the environment of the Sanjiangyuan that forced 50,000 nomads to relocate from grasslands to new settlements. The study focused on the project’s effects on nomad livelihoods from a critical cultural and economic perspective and has been widely cited on different websites, including Chinadialogue. In addition, Dr. Wangyal also founded and built a website about Rebgon culture and is actively involved in Yushu earthquake relief services.

Timothy Ward

President, Asia Africa Operations, Intermedia Communications 

Tim Ward is the head of Intermedia’s Asia/Africa operations. Since 1993 he has conducted media workshops around the world, working with organizations such as The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank, Africa Development Bank, the United Nations’ Development Programme, and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF). A Canadian citizen, Tim has worked in Asia and North America as a freelance magazine, newspaper and radio journalist since 1986. He was news announcer for NHK Radio Japan, and served as a commentator for CBC Radio. Tim has also authored five books, including a trilogy about Asian life and culture. As an author has given hundreds of media interviews and public talks. He continues to write about foreign cultures and the environment.


Li Wenjun 

Professor, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Beijing University

Dr. Wenjun Li is a professor at the College of Environmental Sciences at Beijing University. She is also the deputy director of the Ecological Tourism Commission of the Ecological Society of China. Her focus is on natural resource management, with particular attention to protected areas. Her research interests include local community-based management, property rights and rangeland management, and balancing conservation and development through ecotourism. She manages several natural science fund projects, including the Ecological Tourism Management Index of Natural Reserves (sponsored by Man and the Biosphere Program of UNECSO), Management of Coastal Biosphere Reserve Area in the Asia-Pacific Region, and Problems of Centralized and Economical Utilization of Pasture Resources in Arid and Semiarid Regions in North China.


Jin Wei 

Professor, Ethnic and Religious Studies, Central Party School

Jin Wei is a professor of ethnic religious studies at the Central Party School in Beijing and a specialist for multiple research centers. She received a bachelor’s degree in History from Beijing Normal University in 1982, an LLM degree from the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and a JD degree from the Sociology Department of Beijing University. Her interests include ethnic minority theories and policies, public health and social policies. Jin Wei has published more than 10 books and over 90 papers, including Efficiency Evaluation of Tibet-aid Projects, which was awarded by the China Tibetology Center in 2006. In addition, she is also the recipient of an Outstanding Contribution award from UNAIDS.


Ren Xiaodong

Professor, South China Research Institute of Karst, Director of the Community-based Conservation and Development Research Center

Ren Xiaodong is the professor at the South China Research Institute of Karst and the director of the Community-based Conservation and Development Research Center at Guizhou Normal University. His research interests include biodiversity conservation, community development, gender, and project management. He has hosted and participated in more than 50 international and domestic cooperative research projects, and was also appointed as a consulting expert and evaluation expert for multiple projects led by multinational corporations. Ren Xiaodong holds a Ph.D. degree in Regional Economics from the Economic School of Lanzhou University, and has extensive experience with environmental protection and project management. In 2001, he was named a fellow of Beahr’s Sustainable Environmental Management Leadership Program at the University of California, Berkeley.

Chen Yan

Associate Professor, Sichuan Agricultural University

Chen Yan began teaching at the Sichuan Agricultural University since 2005. She teaches sociology research and survey methodologies.


Party Branch Secretary, Ganda Village, Jyeku, Yushu Prefecture, Qinghai

Yechin has held the position of party branch secretary of Ganda Village since 1970. He was selected as party representative and attended the prefectural CPCC (Communist Party of China Congress) of Yushu in 1991 and the provincial CPCC of Qinghai in 1998. During his long-term service, he has received many outstanding awards from provincial and national governments, such as the Provincial Model Worker Award in 1999, the National Model Worker Award and National Educational Role Model Award in 2001. In 2010, he was awarded the Model Party Member Award by the prefectural and provincial government, followed by an Earthquake Reconstruction Model Award in 2012 due to his outstanding contributions during and after the Yushu earthquake.


Emily Yeh 

Associate Professor, Geography, University of Colorado

Emily Yeh is an associate professor of Geography at the University of Colorado, and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Her main research interests are on questions of power, political economy, and cultural politics in the nature-society relationship, particularly in China, Tibet, and the Himalayas. Using primarily ethnographic methods, she has conducted research on property rights, natural resource conflicts, environmental history, development and landscape transformation, grassland management and environmental policies, and emerging environmentalisms in Tibetan areas of China. Dr. Yeh has also worked on the politics of identity and race in the Tibetan diaspora, and on several NSF-funded collaborative projects on putative causes of rangeland degradation and vulnerability to climate change on the Tibetan Plateau. She has published articles in such journals as Political Geography (Transnational environmentalism and entanglements of sovereignty: The tiger campaign across the Himalayas), Area 42 (Tibetan pastoralism in neoliberalizing China: Continuity and change in Gouli), Geoforum(Greening Western China: A critical view), Journal of Asian Studies (Blazing pelts and burning passions: Nationalism, cultural politics and spectacular decommodification in Tibet), and Environmental History(From wasteland to wetland? Nature and nation in China's Tibet).