Tibet Launches Climate Action Campaign

Deepa Philip, Tehelka | October 20, 2015

Tibet has lost over 50 percent of its glaciers in 82 years due to rise in temperature.

The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) launched the Climate Action Plan here today. “It is not a question of one or two nations, it is the question of humanity,” said Dalai Lama, in his video message referring to the perils of global warming ahead of the Climate Change Conference in Paris this year.

Launching Tibet’s campaign, CTA officials said three initiatives largely banking on the social media — Thunderclap, a ‘Roof of the World’ photo challenge (where people can post photos of themselves forming a roof over their heads with their hands on social media) and a people’s climate march in Paris on November 29 – would be initiated. “The Tibetan plateau is critical to the planet’s environmental health,” said Dr Lobsang Sangay, political leader of the Tibetan people and head of the CTA. “Tibetan people must have a say on what happens on our land.”

Pushing for strict implementation of China’s climate Action Plan for the benefit of Tibet, Sangay said the country must be held up to its promises. “China’s recently introduced Environment Protection Law must be used as a legal framework to hold the Chinese government to account,” he said.

The CTA officials also used the occasion to urge leaders of the 194 odd nations to keep Tibet in the global agenda ahead of the climate change talks scheduled for December. “This blue planet is our only home and Tibet is its roof,” said Dalai Lama, highlighting the fragile ecosystem of his land and the effect its degradation would have on the rest of the world. “The effects of retreating glaciers are even found to have affected the heat waves in Europe,” pointed out Kalon Dicki Chhoyang, Minister for Department of Information and International Relations, Tibet.

Known as the ‘Third Pole’ after the Artic and Antartic, Tibet has lost over 50 percent of its glaciers in 82 years due to rise in temperature (more than the global average temperature) and the effects are telling. “The Tibetan plateau needs to be protected and Tibetans must be the stewards of their own land so that they can take care of the Roof the World which supports half of humanity,” points out Vandana Shive, renowed Indian scholar and environmentalist.

“Solutions to the climate crisis exist. What is needed is political will and action,” said Chhoyang, highlighting the need for countries to come together to resolve the global issue.

The largest UN Climate Change Conference, COP21, will be held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015. More than 40,000 delegates and world leaders from 194 countries will converge in Paris for this global climate change summit to achieve a strong legally binding universal agreement on climate change.” It is not a political or a religious issue but a question of a healthy planet, about the very survival of humanity,” said Dalai Lama.


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