Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology
Why in news?
The Chinese Army’s intrusion in Chumur and Demchok since January has left Ladakh’s nomadic herding Changpa community cut off from large parts of summer pastures.
- The People’s Liberation Army has taken over 16 kanals (two acres) of cultivable land in Chumur and advanced around 15 km inside Demchok, taking over traditional grazing pastures and cultivable lowlands.
- This has destabilised the movement of over 2,000 members of the nomadic community.
- In a cascading effect, this has resulted in a sharp rise in deaths of young Pashmina goats.
- The much-valued wool from the Ladakh herds is essential for the prized Pashmina shawls woven in Kashmir and famous for their intricate hand work.
Changthangi or Pashmina goat
- The Pashmina goat is a breed of goat inhabiting the plateaus in Tibet, Nepal, parts of Burma and neighbouring areas of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, India.
- It is also known as ‘Changthangi’, ‘Changra”.
- They are raised for ultra-fine cashmere wool, also known as pashmina once woven.
- These goats are generally domesticated and are reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh.
- The Changthangi goats have revitalized the economy of Changthang, Leh and Ladakh region.
- Pashmina is a fine type of cashmere wool.
- The textiles made from it were first woven in Kashmir.
- Often shawls called shahmina are made from this material in Kashmir and Nepal; these shawls are hand spun and woven from the very fine cashmere fibre.
- Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) had published an Indian Standard for identification, marking and labelling of Pashmina products on August 2019 to certify its purity.
- Kashmir Pashmina has been accorded Geographical indication (GI) tag under Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
- The Changpa are a semi-nomadic Tibetan people found mainly in the Changtang in Ladakh and in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The homeland of the Changpa is a high-altitude plateau known as the Changtang, which forms a portion of western and northern Tibet extending into southeastern Ladakh.
- The Changpa of Ladakh are high altitude pastoralists, raising mainly yaks and goats.
- The Changpas rear the highly pedigreed and prized Changra goats (Capra Hircus) that yield the rare Pashmina fiber (Cashmere wool).
-Source: The Hindu