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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

EARTH DAY: The politics of water in Tibet

April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014 – In recognition of Earth Day, commemorated around the world on April 22, the Canada Tibet Committee is highlighting China’s harmful water policy in Tibet.  Water diversion, including rapid damming of Tibet’s rivers, has had a devastating impact on Tibet’s pristine environment and the lives of nomadic communities that have lived for centuries on the high plateau.  The story is told in the 2009 film Meltdown in Tibet directed by Canadian travel guide and author, Michael Buckley. 

The film, which is available in two versions (12 minutes and 40 minutes), is available for viewing at  It is a must-see for anyone interested in Asia’s looming water wars.

Using undercover footage, Meltdown in Tibet blows the lid off China's huge and potentially catastrophic dam-building projects in Tibet. These rivers are at great risk from rapidly receding glaciers—a meltdown accelerated by climate change—and from large-scale damming and diversion, due to massive Chinese engineering projects. To make way for these hydropower projects and mining ventures, Tibetan nomads are being forced off their traditional grassland habitat. The film raises disturbing questions about a looming eco-disaster caused in great measure by inadequate environmental protection regulation in Tibet and by the policies imposed by Chinese authorities.

Filmmaker Michael Buckley has long been involved in research on Tibet. Meltdown in Tibet was produced by Petr Sevcik for Yak Films.  Music was composed by Victor Chorobik.

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