A Resolution Passed on The PROTECTION OF Himalayan WATERSHED AREAS FOR A SUSTAINABLE ASIA at the Seminar On Tibet’s Water
22nd November, 2003, New Delhi, INDIA
ACKNOWLEDGING that Tibet is the source of Asia’s major rivers such as Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra), Drichu (Yangtze), Zachu (Mekong), Machu (Huang He, Yellow River), Sengye Khabab (Indus), Gyalmo Ngulchu (Salween), Phung Chu/Bhumchu (Arun), Macha Khabab (Karnali/Gaghara) and Langchen Khabab (Sutlej) which sustain the lives of more than half of the Asian populations in India, China, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam;
AWARE that these river systems are home to a great biodiversity and the spiritual abode of many religions;
FURTHER AWARE that over-exploitation or misuse of these river systems of Tibet by the policies of the People’s Republic of China may lead to habitat loss, desecration of holy places, species extinction, soil erosion, siltation, pollution, flooding, and unstable water flows that threaten the integrity of these rivers in the downstream regions;
ENCOURAGED by the recent efforts of People’s Republic of China to address critical environmental issues affecting the protection of the headwaters of the Drichu (Ch. Yangtze) and Machu (Ch. Huang He/Yellow) by imposing logging bans and encouraging reforestation efforts in the upper reaches of these rivers.
CONSCIOUS of the ongoing construction of the cascades of dams on the upper reaches of Mekong, Salween and China’s other grand plan such as the South to North Water Diversion Project;
FURTHER CONSCIOUS of the concerns over the proposed construction of mega hydroelectric projects at the Great Bend of Yarlung Tsangpo;
- REQUESTS the Asian Governments especially from the lower riparian countries to dialogue with the People’s Republic of China to readdress the harmful development projects in Tibet
- REQUESTS the Civil Society members at the World Social Forum to impress upon the People’s Republic of China to adopt sustainable practices in harvesting water resources
- CALLS UPON parties concerned in the People’s Republic of China to strengthen their effort of cooperation with the international community in exchange of conservation information, including that related to the local environment of the headwaters
- CALLS UPON the People’s Republic of China to promote the construction and management of nature reserves, and to consider protecting all headwaters, not just the rivers running to China
- CALLS UPON the States’ Environmental Ministries, International Environmental Organizations, Civil Societies and Environmental groups and concerned individuals to work with the People’s Republic of China in identifying areas for collaboration on maintaining the ecological health of Tibet and on other important development and conservation projects and to provide technical expertise on environmental matters.