Make Tibetan plateau an exploitation free zone for world community’s benefit: Report

DHARAMSALA, India: Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay today launched the Tibetan version of the report, ‘A Synthesis of Recent Science and Tibetan Research on Climate Change’, calling for the need to make the Tibetan Plateau an exploitation-free international observatory zone which would benefit both Tibetans and world community.
 
The actual English version of the report on climate change was launched on 15th Conference of Parties at Copenhagen, Denmark.  
 
The report contains all aspects of research work done by Chinese, Tibetan and western researchers on the Tibetan plateau.
 
The report contains in-depth research on main three issues – Significance of the Tibetan Plateau, Impacts on the Tibetan Plateau, Human cause – and proposes a set of crucial recommendations.
 
“The reference of the Tibetan Plateau as ‘The Third Pole’ and ‘The Water Tower of Asia’ in recent times is a clear indication of its significance. Tibet’s rangeland covers approximately 70% of the Plateau’s total area, which helps, sustains wide variety of both domestic and wildlife species. The Tibetan Plateau not only influences the Asian summer monsoon pattern but also releases huge amount of carbon in the atmosphere due to degradation of its large permafrost which further enhances global warming,” the report noted.
 
Concerning impacts on the Tibetan Plateau, the report said, “The temperature increase on the Tibetan Plateau is twice the global average resulting in quicker degradation of Permafrost, drastic change on climate pattern and desertification of vast grassland. The Chinese authorities blame the Tibetan pastoral nomads (who have preserved the fragile grassland for centuries) for desertification and put forth ill-advised policies that destroy age-old nomadic way of life.”
 
The research findings indicate human activities behind the destruction of Tibet’s ecological balance. “The unscientific development constructions like highways and railways, extensive mineral extractions, the extensive farming and deforestation during commune system of 1960s on fragile the Tibetan plateau without any ecological concern has resulted serious in the destruction of the Plateau’s ecological balance,” it said.

The report outlines a set of key recommendations to protect the paramount importance of the Tibetan plateau.

“There is a need for a water sharing treaty among the upper and lower riparian countries and of making the Tibetan Plateau an exploitation-free international observatory zone which would benefit both Tibetans and world community,” it said.

It called for the “recognition of Tibetan nomads as the best stewards of the grassland and withdrawal of current policies that force the nomads to settle permanently.”

It emphasised “training and deployment of local Tibetans on environment conservation.”

“Climate change has made natural disaster increasingly uncertain and setting up of disaster management near volatile area is required,” it said.

It also recommends “enforcement of environment policies by tying Green House Gas reduction into the current economic model.”
 
“We hope that this report will serve as a further research tool to the Tibetan community and the Himalayan region,” said Mr Tenzin Norbu, the head of the Environment and Development Desk of the Department of Information & International Relations, which published the report.