Join our Mailing List

"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

UN Urged to Discuss Tibet's Environment at Copenhagen Summit

November 26, 2009

Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)
November 25, 2009

Bangalore -- Underscoring the catastrophic
impacts of climate change on the Tibetan plateau
on billions of lives in China, Pakistan and
India, a Tibetan environmental researcher said
the international community must press the UN to
declare Tibetan plateau and Himalayan region as
special environmental status during the next
month's climate change summit in Copenhagen.

Rising temperature on the Tibetan plateau
triggers rapid melting of glaciers, which would
affect lives in China, India, Burma, Thailand and
other Asian countries since they depend on about
50 -60 per cent of fresh water flowing from
Tibet, Dhondup Dolma, a researcher of the Central
Tibetan Administration, said in her talk on significance of Tibetan plateau.

The talk was part of a lecture series at the
three-day Thank you India festival and 50 years
of Tibetans in exile in Bangalore, which successfully concluded yesterday.

Dhondup Dolma said the drastic climate change in
Tibet in part is caused by the failed policies of the Chinese government.

The failed policies include damming and diverting
international rivers, desertification and drying
up of wetlands caused by conversion of grassland
to cropland in early 1950s to meet the needs of
the People's Liberation of Army, mining,
infrastructure development and forced relocation of nomads.

She warned that exploitation of Tibet's natural
resources such as felling of trees would not only
trigger floods in China, India, Bangladesh and
other Asian countries, but it undermines the role
of forest covers and Tibet's natural environment in combating climate changes.

Every year Brahmaputra floods in the Indian
subcontinent. Landslides and soil erosion caused
by deforestation have increased the silt flow
into the Bay of Bengal. One third of the two
billion tons of sediment is deposited in the
plains of Bangladesh, reducing the depth of
rivers and causing disastrous floods every year.

Satluj Flash Flood of June 2005 was caused due to
sudden rise of Pareechu River in the Tibetan
Plateau. In total, June 2005 flood affected
213,060 peoples with total damage of 336 crore
rupees. The flood affected the population living
in the entire area of Kinnaur district between
Wangtoo to Samdho and Spiti Sub Division of Lahaul-Spiti district.

The China - Tibet railway line is causing
transformation of landscapes in Tibet and
seriously affects the carbon sinks like
grassland, permafrost which in turn leads to rise in temperature, she said.

Responding to questions from the audience, Kalon
Kesang Yankyi Takla said "there is imminent
danger to the whole of Asia and the global
community on the issue of water unless the
environment of Tibet is saved from destruction."

"Despite limited resources of the Tibetans in
exile, but as a human being the Tibetan community
focus on creating awareness in the international
community about the catastrophic repercussions of
climate change on the Tibetan plateau," Kalon Takla said.

"We want to tell you that unless we are not aware
about the destruction of environment in Tibet, we
are definitely going to suffer," Kalon Takla added.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank