Snow Leopards and Tibetan Herders: Coexistence from a Cultural Perspective


Conservationists worldwide are making efforts to minimize human-wildlife conflicts for coexistence. Despite its varying definitions, coexistence generally requires humans to sustainably share landscapes and resources with wildlife. This is a grand objective that presents significant challenges. It requires more than scientific evidence, technological innovation, market efficiency, and policy adjustment, but also transformation in our mental map of reality, ways of knowing, and values. Yufang Gao’s interdisciplinary scholarship aims to develop a holistic understanding of the ecological, sociopolitical, and cultural dimensions of human-wildlife coexistence across multiple spatiotemporal scales and institutional contexts in China and worldwide. In this talk, he will use Tibetan traditional knowledge about snow leopards and other large carnivores to discuss the role of culture in shaping local imagination as to the ends, means, and contexts of coexistence and its implication for conservation.



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