The Second International Conference on Gross National Happiness
Local Pathways to Global Wellbeing
St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
June 20 to June 24, 2005
Dave Webb & Kevin Stuart
Exploring the QOL Benefits of Solar Cooker Technology for
Remote Tibetan & Monguor Communities
The findings demonstrate that both remote community recipients and the environment benefit significantly.
...solar cookers can make a positive contribution toward the culture of the Tibetan and Monguor people.
In the remote North-Western Chinese province of Qinghai (Tibetan plateau), the Tibetan people struggle to gather yak dung, wood and other fuel substitutes for heating, boiling and cooking; the basic necessities for survival. Over the past 7 years extreme cold (-45C) and drought has had a significant effect on the environment, the nomadic people and the livestock upon which these people depend. The environment has become increasingly denuded and many nomads are caught in a vicious cycle of destitution. The use of solar cookers as a partial substitute for dung, wood, bushes and straw can help to alleviate this cycle. This paper explores how introducing solar cookers has positively enhanced the quality of life of the Tibetan and Monguor people in 48 villages and enhanced their natural environment. Work carried out in 2003 by students in the English Training Program, Nationalities Department, Qinghai Normal University, Xining, PRC (supported by The Canada Fund) and, the authors own observations over three visits to the region in 2003 and 2004 is reported upon in this paper. Written reports, translated letters, interview commentary and personal observation provide for a rich source of data that is analyzed using the ‘Wordsmith’ textual data analysis software. The findings demonstrate that both remote community recipients and the environment benefit significantly. Furthermore, it is argued that providing solar cookers can make a positive contribution toward the culture of the Tibetan and Monguor people.
Dr. Dave Webb
University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Highway, Crawley
Western Australia, 6009, Australia
Tel: (61) 8-6488-7380
Fax: (61) 8-6488-1055
Dr. Kevin Stuart
English Training Program
Qinghai Nationalities Teacher’s College
Qinghai Normal University
Xining City 810008, Qinghai Province
Tel: (86) 971-6318505
Dr. Dave Webb will be the presenting author in attendance at the conference.
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