The Pendeba Society of the Tibet Autonomous Region

To safeguard the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve – an area that is roughly the size of Taiwan – this grassroots initiative employs locally-nominated volunteers known as pendebas from each of the 406 villages within the protected area to promote environmental conservation, improve family health, advance options for income generation, and organize collective action for common goods. Together, the pendebas’ initiative has helped decrease child mortality by 50 percent, reduce deforestation by 80 percent, and protect threatened species of endangered wildlife, including populations of the snow leopard, Tibetan wild ass, and Tibetan antelope.

Pendebas have mobilized their villages to improve water and sanitation services, protect wetlands and water sources, establish hundreds of tree nurseries and reforestation campaigns, spread the use of solar energy, and prevent the killing of endangered animals. Activities are carried out with a strong sense of partnership within the communities and with local governments. At the roof of the world, with six of the planet’s highest peaks, the initiative is helping to safeguard a climate change hotspot, a wetland ecosystem, and the health and wellbeing of local communities.


Key Facts 

Equator Prize Winner: 2014
Founded: 1994
Location: Qomolangma National Nature Preserve, the
Tibet Autonomous Region
Beneficiaries: 406 villages in Qomolangma National
Nature Preserve
Area of Focus: Conservation, health care, and community


Case Study

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Find other Winners' Case Studies in our E-Library

 Equator Prize 2014

Asia And The Pacific

 Biodiversity Conservation

 Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change


Contact Information

Tsering Norbu
Languages: English, Mandarin, Tibetan


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