March 30, 2011
   Posted in News Flash
Published By Tashi

Berlin conference puts spotlight on China’s environmental policy in Tibet [Tuesday, 30 March 2011, 9:10 a.m.]

Mr Tenzin Norbu, Head of the Environment and Development Desk of the Department of Information and International Relations in Dharamsala, participating in the conference through the Internet

A prominent Tibet Support Group in Germany hosted a conference last
Friday in its efforts to draw the world community’s attention on
China’s policies impacting Tibet and its repercussions on the global
environment. Tibet Initiative Deutschland organised the
conference at a time of growing concern over the relentless
exploitation of Tibet’s natural resources and nomadic herders by the
Chinese government. The conference on “The Third Pole in
Danger – China’s Environmental Policy in Tibet” held in Berlin brought
together noted Tibetan and Western experts to get their perspectives on
the issue. More than a hundred participants, including scholars, Tibet
supporters, from all over Germany and other European countries like
France and Switzerland attended the conference. Mr Tenzin
Norbu, the head of the Environment and Development Desk of the Central
Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala, participated in the conference
through the Internet. Mr Norbu spoke on the dangerous pace at which the Chinese government drains natural resources in Tibet. He
said the members of the audience conveyed their concerns on the
exploitation of Tibet’s mineral resources. In his response to their
queries, Mr Norbu spoke on how the Chinese government uses heavy handed
measures to suppress the Tibetan people’s peaceful protests against its
policies on resource exploitation. To justify its crackdown, the
Chinese government always give political colour to the Tibetan people’s
indignation, even if it is against its wrong environmental policies, he
said. The Chinese government’s policy to uproot the Tibetan
nomadic herders from their traditional way of life was also discussed
during the conference. Gabriel Lafitte, a noted environmental
researcher and academician, spoke on the forced resettlement of Tibetan
nomads to permanent structures which imperils their survival due to
loss of livelihoods.

From left: Claude Arpi, Gabriel Lafitte, Wolgang Grader, Chair of Tibet Initiative
Nadine Baumann, Executive Director, Tibet Initiative Deutschland, Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen and Dr Franz Alt at the conference in Berlin, Germany

Claude Arpi, an expert on India, Tibet and China, spoke on China’s
water politics in Tibet. He expounded the term “Third Pole” and the
consequences of the Chinese government’s water policies in Tibet and
its impact on the Asian population. Dr. Franz Alt, well-known
journalist, publicist and author, gave a lively introductory speech on
the climate change and renewable energies, linking that to the current
exploitation of natural resources in Tibet. Dr. Alt is an expert on
Tibet and also highly engaged in environmental issues.His
Holiness the Dalai Lama’s envoy, Mr Kelsang Gyaltsen, was also invited
to speak at the conference.  Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen stated that the
massive environmental exploitation is closely linked to the denial of
Tibetan people with their rights to self-determination.

People from different walks of life from across Germany and other European countries like France and Switzerland attend the conference.
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