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Tibetan Women’s Association launches first phase of sustainable development projects inside Tibet

July 7, 2011

Dharamsala, July 05, 2011:  On the eve of the occasion of His Holiness Dalai Lama’s 76th birthday, the Women’s Environment and Development Desk (WEDD) of Tibetan Women’s Association is launching its first phase of sustainable development projects inside Tibet to benefit Tibetan Women, particularly the displaced nomadic women.
The nomadic way of life in Tibet is increasingly under threat from changing social, political and environmental conditions. In September 2010, “The Guardian”, a British newspaper, reported that the Chinese Government is in the advanced stages of relocating between 50% and 80% of the 2.25 million nomads on the Tibetan plateau.  Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, noted in December 2010 that the Tibetan nomads should not be compelled to settle. In addition he noted, “It is Chinese government policy to implement the settling of Tibetan nomads, confiscating their land, and fencing pastoral areas, which has led to increased poverty, environmental degradation and social breakdown.”
With no proper source of income the economic conditions of the displaced Tibetan nomads have worsened. According to Human Rights Watch, tens of thousands of Tibetan herders have been required to give up their homes and traditional practices to resettle, generally into urban or township settings where they struggle to establish themselves; in many cases the displacement and forced resettlement results in increased hardships and lower standards of living.
The forced eviction of nomads from Tibet’s pasturelands has rendered the nomads without a proper source of income. Moreover, the lives of Tibetan women are adversely impacted. TWA’s WEDD is sponsoring 14 Female Yak (Dri in Tibetan) through Tibet Foundation for 14 displaced nomadic families in the highlands of earth-quake wrecked region of Kyegudo, Kham, in eastern Tibet. This sustainable development project will engage the women in sustainability that will ensure a constant source of income for them and their families. The Tibet Foundation's Yak for Life is a sustainable programme helping many local people. As a part of our support to the programme, we have sponsored 14 Yaks. Tibet Foundation is a UK charity that has an Aid to Tibet programme with a series of educational and healthcare projects in Tibet.
TWA’s WEDD is also launching a short video titled ‘WEDD Green Action.’ The 3-minute video gives a sneak preview to the June 5 - World Environment Day campaign, undertaken by TWA. India hosted for the first time, this year’s United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), a global campaign known as “Forest: Nature at your service”. Five thousand Tibetan women belonging to 33 regional chapters of the Tibetan Women’s Association (RTWA) based in India observed the World Environment Day by planting 20,000 trees in 10 states in India. The video also features the New Delhi campaign in which TWA joined the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). The video is viewable on YouTube and
The mission of the Women’s Environment & Development Desk (WEDD) of TWA is to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change upon Tibet's unique ecosystem and upon the plight of Tibetan women. WEDD desk is committed to disseminating timely and useful information that highlights to the international community the critical issue of climate change in Tibet and engaging in proactive measures, sustainable developmental projects and campaigns to combat the destructive environmental policies that are denying the human rights of Tibetans living inside Tibet.
Press Contact;

Tenzin Woebum; 'Women's Environment and Development Desk' TWA - 9882735801
Dolkar Lhamo Kirti, President, TWA- 9882291202 *************************************************************************************

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