DHARAMSHALA: In recent years, China’s exploitation of Tibet’s natural resources has gathered pace significantly. And Tibetans, with no power to protect their own land, are forced to watch as the economic benefits of Tibet’s resources flow out of their country.
Concerned at this rampant exploitation of Tibet’s natural resources and its ecological impact, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, on the second day of the Five-Fifty Forum on 7 October, reiterated his concern on the degradation of Tibet’s environment. He also voiced the issue of deforestation of Tibet’s pristine forests and the damming of Tibet’s rivers which could have a disastrous effect on downstream countries.
“A lot of people in India and other riparian states depend on the rivers that flow from Tibet. The people from the riparian states have the right to express their genuine concern,” His Holiness said.
His Holiness stated that the melting of glaciers in Tibet as a result of global warming is beyond our control. He said that the abnormal climate change brought about by global warming caused due to lack of knowledge and negligence about the natural significance of ecology.
“People exploit natural resources disregarding the negative effects it might have on ecology. The large scale deforestation taking place in Tibet is an example of human negligence which could severely affect the environment of Tibet,” he added.
President of Central Tibetan Administration Dr Lobsang Sangay also spoke about the growing need of fresh water for consumption in China and its impact in the future caused by the rapid melting of almost 40,000 glaciers in Tibet.
“Tibet is the water tower of South East Asia and unfortunately China has failed to acknowledge that fact by backing away from signing the UN convention on water sharing. It is eminent that China could divert all the rivers flowing from the Tibetan plateau to China itself and not share it with the neighboring countries,” Dr Sangay said, prophesying a a calamity in the foreseeable future.