Other Relief Work

While Plateau Perspectives’ work is focused on community development and protecting the natural environment in mountain regions, occasionally there are special circumstances that warrant a change of focus – at least temporarily. Such is the case when natural disasters strike, such as severe snowstorms.

Plateau Perspectives has responded to such emergency situations when snowstorms caused great losses of livestock and brought extreme suffering and hardships – in 1998, 2000 and 2008. With financial support from the governments of Sweden and Hong Kong, Plateau Perspectives arranged for the delivery of over 500 tonnes of emergency supplies including food, clothing and medicines to 18 districts in Dari and Gande counties in Guoluo Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. More recently, relief supplies were distributed in both Yushu and Zhiduo counties, including food and fuel (coal) as well as finances to purchase yak and re-distribute them to poor families who had lost most or all of their livestock. The latter emergency relief trip was undertaken in partnership with the disaster response section of the provincial Civil Affairs Bureau.

By far the most devastating disaster, however, was the major 7.9 magnitude earthquake that collapsed Yushu on April 14, 2010. In response to the earthquake, Plateau Perspectives rapidly embarked on a program of work that included the establishment and operation of a medical camp in Yushu that treated more than 1,200 patients, delivery of nearly two dozen trucks of emergency relief supplies, and a longer-term response focused on the development of rehabilitation services in the prefecture and on rebuilding livelihoods with training and capacity building in community- based ecotourism development.