China Program

Hua Shan
Copyright Ed Bernbaum
The ethnic Tibetan areas of China presented difficult challenges to sustainable development because of their remoteness, environmental fragility, lack of social services, and fluid economic and political conditions. In response, TMI  implemented the Tibetan Plateau Development Program (TPDP) in the Tibetan areas of China since 2004. Prior to this project, TMI ran the Peak Enterprise Program, the first private sector development initiative in Tibet’s history. In the late 1980s, TMI worked with local Tibetan authorities to form the Qomolangma (Everest) Nature Preserve on the Tibet side of Mt. Everest. After establishing the preserve, TMI worked to develop a bilateral agreement between the Dutch government and the PRC which created the Qomolangma (Everest) Conservation Program. The major focus areas of our work were:
  • Livelihood improvement of herders and farmers
  • Rangeland conservation and management
  • Handicraft development
  • Conservation of cultural heritage
The work consisted of core activities and sub-grants, which were designed to significantly extend the program’s impact. Sub-granting was designed to support a variety of capable local community groups, domestic and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and relevant government institutions, which lacked the financial and technical resources to implement projects successfully on their own. With the wealth of experience gained over many years of project implementation, TMI worked intensively with these partners to pilot effective solutions to the problems and challenges faced by rural Tibetan populations.