On Water Day, Let’s Protect Tibet’s Rivers for Asia’s Survival
TWA[Thursday, March 22, 2012 18:05]
Dharamsala, March 22, 11am: To mark ‘World Water Day’ 2012 , the Women’s Environment and Development Desk (WEDD) of the Central Tibetan Women’s Association is spearheading a signature drive for the petition titled ‘Nomads for a Planetary Third Pole,’[1] originally launched at the Buddhist Kalachakra teaching in Bodh Gaya in January. One can sign the petition online, as well, at the following link: http://tibetanwomen.org/2012/01/nomads-planetary-third-pole-petition/. WEDD will be distributing information leaflets about the imperative role of Tibetan water in Asian food and water security.

The Women’s Environment and Development Desk is also launching a video titled “Experts Speak on Tibet’s Environment,” which is available on YouTube link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rObIR2YFWA&list=UUv85TojsxxrNmbjAWse4S_A&index=1&feature=plcp

The video highlights the critical issue of Tibet’s Environment, covering pertinent topics such as climate change and glacier melt, Tibetan rivers, forced removal of nomads, and mining in Tibet. Experts discuss failed Chinese Environmental policies, which are not only catastrophic for Tibet, but also for people of Southeast Asia. The speakers also pay tribute to the people inside Tibet who are resisting against these destructive Chinese policies through creative forms of protest.

The right to clean drinking water is a fundamental human right granted under international law. There are approx. 1.3 billion people who are dependent on the health of the ten major rivers that originate from Tibet. These Tibetan water sources are being polluted through mining and highly restricted through damming, which results in unintended and often unpredicted flooding. In addition, recent studies revealed that damming a river causes the water to evaporate, thereby reducing the quality and quantity of available water for those dependent on the source. Diminishing water levels are highly evident these days. Earlier this year, people of Pasighat town in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh found the water level of the Brahmaputra River receded so much that it had nearly dried.

WEDD urges these downstream nations and other world governments to pressure China to stop such erroneous environmental policies. Colossal environmental damage and the loss of life are irreversible.


[1] One petition is addressed to the Environment Ministries of the Downstream Nations, which includes China, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. All countries receive water from Tibet’s rivers: the Mekong, Yangtse, and Salween in the east, the Brahmaputra in the center, and the Kamali, Indus and Sutlej in the west. The second petition is addressed to the Environment Ministry of People’s Republic of China, and urges Chinese leadership to halt the forced eviction of nomads from the Tibetan plateau, thereby ensuring future food and water security for Asia.

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