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The Tibetan Plateau, Yayla & Machik

Posted on October 15, 2012 by Susan Brouwer

Our Tibetan rugs (see Tibetan & Gangchen Tibetan) are woven of lustrous, long-staple sheepswool from the Tibetan Plateau where the sheep are reared in the high-altitude Himalayas. With an average elevation of 14,800 feet, the Tibetan Plateau is sometimes called “the Roof of the World,” and is the world’s highest and largest plateau.  It comprises an area four times the size of France and covers most of Tibet, Qinghai Province in western China, and part of Ladahk.

The Tibetan Plateau is an ecological region of enormous significance both at the local level for Tibetan herders and farmers, and at the national and even global levels for biodiversity conservation. At the highest altitudes, conservation and management of water resources are particularly significant, as around 40 percent of the world’s population is found within the watersheds of the rivers originating on the Tibetan Plateau.

In addition, the Tibetan Plateau ecosystems influence on a large scale atmospheric patterns, such as the Asian monsoon and high-altitude jet streams. The area is also home to many unique habitats and to numerous endangered wildlife species.

Local inhabitants in the region, especially Tibetan herders and farmers (as well as several other ethnic groups), deserve increased attention for reasons of equity in development in the context of rapid globalization – and also because so little is known in the rest of the world about the people and cultures of the Tibetan Plateau region.

We became aware of an organization known as Machik through one of our rug importers, Chris Walter and Yayla Tribal Rugs, who has been a significant supporter through sales of his all natural-dye Tibetan rugs. Machik is a Washington, DC-based non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen communities on the Tibetan plateau. Their work is organized at a grassroots level around six themes: Education, Conservation and Green Technology, Women's Initiatives, Economic Opportunities, Multimedia and Digital Technology, and Social Entrepreneurship.

 -- You can help strengthen communities on the Tibetan plateau by making an online donation to Machik (www.machik.org). Or send a check payable to "Machik,” 1609 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 400,
Washington, DC 20009, USA


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