The Three River Headwaters Region is the pioneer of China’s ecological civilization construction and pilot of the national park system. It is also a unique plateau with complex man-land relationship, long-standing history and diverse civilizations. For thousands of years, the relationship between the people and the land has gone through primitive harmony, tension and conflict, and gradually tends to balance and coordinate. The whole process concentrates on the game of natural forces, historical evolution and regional culture. As the elements of human settlements in the region tend to become more complex, the relationship between human and land continues to develop in breadth and depth, and it is necessary to combine dynamic analysis of time and space. From the perspective of people, events, time and space, the research progress and interaction mechanism in the interest of subjects, conflicts, background, and human settlements in the Three River Headwaters Region were summarized. Its population distribution, production, life and culture feature a typical ethnic ecological yet poverty area. The harmonious development of man-land relationship is restricted by the conflicts between human activity and ecological environment as well as cultural environment. The historical evolution progress is largely influenced by factors such as government policies and political regimes, regional trading, herders’ migration and settlement. The human living space is deeply affected by geographical environment, animal husbandry and regional culture. Furthermore, the linkage mechanism among natural element, human element, time element and space element in man-land relationship system was also analyzed. Based on these, the author proposed that future research on man-land relationship in the Three River Headwaters Region should concentrate on fields such as government policies, cultural evaluation and human settlement improvement. To be more specific, further research was suggested to be carried out from the following three aspects：quantitative research, comparative research and objective evaluation of the internal mechanism of human intervention.