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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."

Tibet's importance as earth's third pole raised at COP15 for first time at international climate change forum

December 15, 2009

By cratke

Created 12/10/2009 - 14:27

International Campaign for Tibet

10 December, 2009

For the first time at a major international forum on climate change,
Tibetans will be present at the COP15 summit in Copenhagen this week to
present new information about the global implications of climate change
in Tibet.

For the first time at a major international forum on climate change,
Tibetans will be present at the COP15 summit in Copenhagen this week to
present new information about the global implications of climate change
in Tibet.

Tibet, the world's largest and highest plateau, is the 'world's third
pole' because it contains the biggest ice fields outside of the Arctic
and Antarctic. The Tibetan plateau is warming twice as fast as the rest
of the world and the impact of melting glaciers could be catastrophic.
No other area in the world is a water repository of such size, serving
as a lifeline for much of a continent and for millions of people. The
sustainable management of Tibet has become a

serious security issue in the region.

At COP15, Tibetans working for the Tibetan exile government and NGOs in
Dharamsala, India, will report on how China's policies in Tibet are
contributing to the warming of the plateau and excluding Tibetans from
the stewardship of their land. The principal finding of their reporting
is that Tibetan nomads are being settled and displaced from the
grasslands in a misguided attempt to reduce desertification. This goes
against the latest scientific research that states that livestock
mobility is critical to the health of the grasslands and that grazing
can mitigate the negative warming effects on the rangelands. Tibetans'
knowledge of their land represents the best hope of preserving a fragile
high-altitude ecosystem that is of vital importance not only to Tibetans
but also to China and the rest of the world.

"The impact of climate change and ecological depletion on the Tibetan
plateau is now a global issue. China's policies must be called to
account and as a matter of urgency Tibetans should be involved in the
decision-making and management of Tibet's natural resources. We are also
calling for an independent, international scientific assessment of
Tibet's ecosystem and current land-use policies.

Cooperation of all stakeholders from Tibetan nomads to Chinese
scientists and representatives of countries downstream that depend on
Tibet's water - is essential given the scale of the threat before us."

ICT will also be present at Copenhagen, and its briefing paper on
climate change in Tibet and its global implications is available at:
http://savetibet.org/files/documents/climate_change_Tibet_third_pole_sum...
[1].

For information on Tibet Third Pole events at Copenhagen, see:
http://www.tibetnetwork.org/campaign-tibetthirdpole [2]. Tibet Third
Pole is a campaign that was created to bring the environmental crisis in
Tibet and the fate of Tibet's nomads to the attention of climate change
negotiators at the UN talks in Copenhagen, the media and the general
public.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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