For hundreds of years, Tibet’s unique ecosystem with its fertile grasslands, breathtaking glaciers, lakes and rivers as well as its immense riches in minerals and other natural resources, has been home to the local nomadic population.
But this wonderful landscape, often called “rooftop of the world” for its altitude, and its indigenous people are facing increasing threats in recent decades:
Influenced by global climate change and local environmental pollution, Tibet’s glaciers are melting fast. More than ten Asian countries depend on their water supply. China’s excessive exploitation of local resources, minerals and in particular a sustained denuding of Tibetan forests leads to the erosion of entire hill-areas, destructive floods and the displacement of the indigenous population.
To call attention to this injustice, the “Tibet Intergroup” of the European Parliament (TIG) arranged a conference on environmental issues in Tibet on19 June 2013. Under the auspices of the Members of the European Parliament, Satu Hassi, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg and Thomas Mann, members of the TIG and their assistants as well as representatives of the “International Campaign for Tibet” (ICT), the “Unpresented Nations and Peoples Organization” (UNPO) and the “Office of Tibet in Brussels” participated in this meeting.
In an impressive and striking presentation, Tenzin Norbu, the Chairman of the “Environment and Development Desk of the Central Tibetan Administration”, informed on alarming developments and their terrible consequences. A fascinating documentary updated the audience about the unacceptable situation of indigenous nomads. They are banished from their homes and often deported to various refugee camps as a result of China’s policy of exploitation.
There is an evident connection between the exploitation and pollution of the environment and the various violations of human rights by Chinese administrations in Tibet.
The Members of the European Parliament are not going to stop to focus on this issue and organize more conferences in the near future. We will do everything possible to support this country and its population to fight for their rights!