News and Views on Tibet

Tibetan ecologist among BBC top women conservationist

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By Tenzin Dedan

DHARAMSHALA, Nov 28:  A Tibetan woman named Palyang (Ch. Bayang), is listed on the esteemed BBC “100 Women” for her outstanding efforts to champion the ecological conservation of the Tibetan Plateau. Since 2018, Palyang has been actively monitoring the shifting landscapes, species dynamics, and water systems in the Tibetan plateau as a dedicated diarist and sustainability advocate.

Beyond mere documentation, Palyang has acquired skills in crafting environmentally friendly products such as lip balms, soaps, and belts, all designed to safeguard local water sources. Her initiatives not only contribute to environmental protection but also inspire and engage others to join the cause.

The BBC highlighted the ecological challenges faced by the Tibetan plateau, citing climate change-induced effects like escalating temperatures, glacial melt, and desertification. Palyang’s relentless dedication to recording ecological data, observing weather patterns, and studying plant life has positioned her as a prominent advocate for the preservation of this delicate ecosystem.

As an active member of the Sanjiangyuan Female Environmentalists Network, Palyang promotes health and sustainability within her community, further solidifying her impact on the ground.

This year’s BBC “100 Women” list focused on individuals combating climate change, categorizing honorees into five groups: climate pioneers, culture and education, entertainment and sports, political social activities, and science, health, and technology.

Accompanying Palyang on this esteemed list is Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, a Tibetan Buddhist disciple born in England in 1940. Venturing to India at the age of 20, she became one of the first Westerners ordained in Tibetan Buddhism. Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s impactful endeavors include establishing the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in Hematal, India, providing a home for over 120 nuns, and striving to elevate the status of female practitioners.

Her twelve-year residence in a remote Himalayan cave, dedicating three years to intensive meditation, earned her the title of Jezunma in 2008. The inclusion of both Palyang and Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo on the “100 Women” list represents their commitment to environmental preservation and spiritual empowerment on a global scale.

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