HYDERABAD: As representatives from over 170 countries began deliberations in Hyderabad yesterday on the way forward to protect the planet’s biodiversity, a small contingent of Tibetan environmentalists are also voicing concerns, raising awareness and urging the parties and NGOs to help protect the unique biodiversity of the Tibetan Plateau.
The 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), scheduled for 8 – 19 October 19, kicked off in Hyderabad (India) yesterday. According to CBD executive secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, COP11 would review issues like the progress of the strategic plan, process of integration of biodiversity conservation in national policies by governments, the Aichi targets, resource mobilisation, marine and coastal biodiversity and the ratification of Nagoya Protocol.
Ms Chokyi and Mr Tsering Dhundup, two research staff of the Environment and Development Desk of Department of Information & International Relations (CTA) are presently attending COP11 to network and garner support for the protection of Tibet’s environment in general and its unique biodiversity in particular. The Tibetan Plateau is a unique biodiversity zone with over 100,000 high altitude plant species, 12,000 species of vascular plants, 532 species of birds, 132 identified minerals etc.
In an interview with RTCC Pavillion TV’s UN Biodiversity Talks, Mr Dhundup emphasised the need, “to protect the high-altitude flora and fauna of Tibet from the impacts of climate change as well as China’s developmental projects.” The large-scale mining explorations, damming and pollution of rivers, and rampant deforestation are posing a serious threat to the local habitat on the plateau. (View video)
The delegation also met with several official delegates including Mr Hyun-Hong Chung, (executive Director of visitor service, Korea National Park Service) and shared information about the on-going environmental degradation inside Tibet leading to huge loss of its biologically diverse habitat.
A day before the conference, EDD staff also spoke to a group of Tibetan youth presently studying and working in the city. They addressed some of urgent environmental and developmental issues facing Tibet including melting of glaciers, degradation of the permafrost layer, shrinking lakes, pollution and damming of rivers, resource extraction, grassland degradation and removal of nomads from their ancestral pastures etc.