Exploring the impact of providing alternative technology products in remote Tibetan communities

David Webb, K. Stuart, P. Batt (Editor), S.L. Purchase (Editor), [No Value] PYRL (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the remote North-Eastern corner of the Tibetan plateau in the Western Chineseprovince of Qinghai, ethnic Tibetans spend many hours each day gathering yak dung,wood and other fuel substitutes necessary for heating, making tea and cooking. Over thepast 7 years extreme cold (-350C) and drought has had a significant debilitating effect onthe environment upon which the nomadic people and the livestock depend. The use ofsolar cookers as a partial substitute for dung, wood, bushes and straw can help toalleviate some of the negative effects. This paper explores how introducing solar cookertechnology has benefited not only the natural environment but also positively enhancedthe quality of life of the Tibetan and Monguor people in 48 villages. This paper reports onwork carried out between 2003 and 2005 by the author and students from QinghaiNormal University (supported by the Canada Fund). Written reports, translated letters,interview commentary and personal observations provided a rich database that wasanalyzed using the ‘Wordsmith’ textual data analysis software. The findings demonstratethat significant benefits are accrued to both the environment and remote communityrecipients. Furthermore, it is argued that providing solar cookers can make a positivecontribution toward the culture of the Tibetan and Monguor people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalJournal of Research for Consumers
Issue numbern/a
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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