December 14, 2009
Tibetans in exile held a panel discussion on climate change and Tibet in Dharamsala.
Below is an article published by Phayul.com
As leaders of 192 countries discuss ways to save the earth from climate change at the UN Climate Action meet in Danish capital Copenhagen, the exile Tibetans Saturday held a panel discussion on “climate change and Tibet”.
Organized by the Tibetan Women’s Association, Students for a Free Tibet and the Gu Chu Sum movement, the panel discussion was attended by local Tibetans, government officials and foreigners. Speaking at the discussion were Ms. Dhondup Dolma Bhartso, Under Secretary at the Environment and Development Desk of the exile Tibetan government, and Tsering Yankey, Director of the Tesi Environmental Awareness Movement.
The speakers expressed their concerns over the rising impact of global warming on Climate change, and asked the audience to work towards protecting the earth from the menace of climate change. “Tibet is called the Earth's Third Pole by scientists because only the North and South poles hold more glacially stored freshwater. The Tibetan Plateau is undergoing climate change twice as fast as the rest of the world,” noted Tsering Yankey.
Yankey said that every individual has a role to play in securing a safe earth for future generations. “‘By doing small things locally, we can make a difference. Everybody should know about climate change to make a difference. Turning off electricity, using local transport, using less water, you know these kind of things are all what we can do as a general public to combat climate change,” she said.
Dhondup Dolma Bhartso expressed her worries that the Tibetan Plateau is very vital for stopping global warming. “Glacier meltdown across Tibet is disrupting downstream water supplies, threatening the sustainable livelihoods of Tibetan nomads and villages, and putting at risk more than one billion downstream peoples and communities across south and east Asia,” she warned.
Mr Tenzin Norbu, head of the Environment and Development Desk of the exile Tibetan government, during the launch of a report on the impacts of climate change on the Tibetan plateau, in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 10 December 2009. Meanwhile, a Tibetan contingent from Dharamsala comprising of government officials, NGO activists, and environment workers is currently in Copenhagen as part of the Tibet-Third Pole, a campaign to create awareness about the Tibetan plateau’s significance in checking climate change.
Tibet Third Pole consists of Tibetan, Chinese, and western scientists, development specialists, campaigners, and more than 170 Tibet Support Groups around the world. The group has been campaigning throughout the run-up to the UN's climate change conference in Copenhagen, lobbying at the UN's climate-change preparatory conferences in order to influence the climate treaty on Tibet's behalf.
A report The Impacts of Climate Change on the Tibetan Plateau: A Synthesis of Recent Science And Tibetan Research published by the exile Tibetan government's Environment and Development Desk was launched on December 10.
A joint Tibetan and Western multi-disciplinary team seeks to bring the environmental crisis in Tibet and the fate of Tibet's nomads to the attention of negotiators, the media and the general public at the UN meet.