By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Sept. 25: Eight Dharamshala-based activist groups announced the commencement of the digital strike in solidarity with the global climate movement ahead of the COP26 in Glasgow, UK, which will take place from Nov. 1 to 12. The sole motive of the campaign is to garner support for the Tibet climate crisis in the current global context. Due to the rising Covid-19 cases in Dharamshala, the organizations cancelled the street protest and switched to the digital platform for their campaign.
“Like the Arctic and Pacific Island nations, Tibet – known as the Third Pole – is on the frontline of global climate change, warming on average three times as fast as the rest of the world,” read the statement released on Friday. The coalition further warned against the consequences of deteriorating climate including rising temperatures, rapidly melting permafrost, changing precipitation patterns and loss of 8 billion tonnes of ice every year.
“The earth is burning and Tibet is melting. We are striking on 24 Sept in solidarity with the young people who have inspired this new movement, and to support the call for urgent and drastic action. We join hands with the people of the Amazon, Pacific Islands and affected communities around the world in the quest for climate justice,” Tibetan Women’s Association staff Wangmo said in the report.
The statement reasserted that Tibet’s rivers are a source of water to 1.5 billion people downstream. “There is a global climate crisis and Tibet is one of the frontlines. It is essential that Tibet’s climate crisis issue should be included in the global climate discussion,” the press release further noted.
The groups also accused the Chinese regime of prioritizing development over conservation in the face of deteriorating climate change. The activists also demanded that Tibetans in Tibet, who are the “traditional custodians of the plateau”, be made equal contributors of the Tibet climate policy as they could play a vital role in the climate conversation. Development projects of the CCP regime including mega-dams and destructive mining projects are major causes of concern.
Clean Upper Dharamsala Programme, Gu Chu Sum, Lha Charitable Trust, National Democratic Party of Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet-India, Tibetan Women’s Association, Tibetan Youth Congress and International Tibet Network are the eight NGOs that organized this strike in solidarity with the global campaign. The global climate movement is spearheaded by young climate activists like Greta Thunberg, who led a huge protest on Friday in Berlin to kick start the global strike.