Chapter 1: Introduction
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Chapter 1 outlines the objective and rationale of the book and its focus, content, limitations and structure. The Third Pole is explained. In the context of protecting the Third Pole environment, it summarises above all the environment and energy challenges, in particular the environmental significance of large dams and growing tourism development. The sustainable development tensions between, first, the demands for energy exploitation and tourism development, and, second, support for environmental protection and the needs of local communities are reviewed, together with the role of the ‘energy trilemma’ and its relationship with sustainable development. The research question and approach that inform the direction of the book are outlined, and the content of each of the chapters is summarised.