Tibetan Environmental Researchers attend Environmental Summit in Taipei

Mr. Tenzin Norbu, Executive Head of the Environment and Development Desk of the Department of Information and International Relations, speaks to delegates on the significance of Tibet's environmental issues in Taipei
Mr. Tenzin Norbu, Executive Head of the Environment and Development Desk of the Department of Information and International Relations, speaks to delegates on the significance of Tibet's environmental issues in Taipei

Taipei: Tibetan environmental researchers are participating in the second edition of the Asia Pacific Greens Network Congress (APGN) in Taipei at Tien-Moeu Convention Center from 30th April – 2nd May 2010.

Over 200 participants from 20 different countries are attending the two-day environmental conference organised by the Asia Pacific Greens Network, which is a federation of national Green Parties, social and environmental organisations in countries in the Pacific Ocean and Asia.

The organisers have invited Tenzin Norbu and Dhondup Dolma Bhartso, two researchers from the Environment and Development Desk of the Department of Information and International Relations of His Holiness the Dalai Lama based in Dharamsala to take part in the congress.

In the opening session, Senator Bob Brown, Parliamentary leader of the Australian Greens said that APGN 2010 has gained more strength and got stronger through the collaborative work of all the Green minded people.

He emphasised that there need to be change in the mindset of old politics of development, corruption and greed. “The meetings like this bring optimism and enthusiasm of the future of the mother earth,” Mr Brown added.

The co-conveners of the congress are Robin Winkler the founder of Taiwan Wild at Heart Legal Defence Association and Sandra Peng assistant professor in public Policy and Management at Shih Hsin University and the founding member of Green Party Taiwan. They introduced the congress theme “Fair Share”, logistics, green conferencing aspects.

There was a welcome musical performance by Bunun tribe, one of the thirteen tribes in Taiwan. The members of the performing group are from Kalibu, Bunun village located in the central mountains of Nantou County.

After the official inauguration, the organisers arranged an Open Space Meeting. The participants held group discussions on complex environmental issues in each session.

The Tibetan delegates put the spotlight on Tibet as the world’s Third Pole and interacted with other participants with on the crucial issues of Tibet’s environment.

The highlight of the second day of the congress were keynote speeches by Mr. Apisai Lelemia, Tuvalu Prime Minister and Dr. Vandana Shiva, Navdanya Foundation with Senator Bob Brown as moderator.

Dr. Vandana Shiva spoke on the significance of the Tibetan Plateau, dangerous trends of melting Himalayan glaciers and the threat to the water security to the riparian countries. The session continued with a panel discussion on the “Prevention of Climate Change, Asia Pacific’s major mitigation challenges, policies and solutions” and “Living with the impacts of Climate Change, Empowering Communities for Climate justice”. After the Panel discussion the forum breaks into different workshops to discuss on various topics that have been set in a program.

The Tibetan representatives were able to propose a workshop on titled “Climate Change and Pastoralism on the Tibetan Plateau.” Along with Tenzin Norbu and Dhondup Dolma, Mr. Suresh Nautiyal of Uttarkhand Parivartan Party spoke on melting Himalayan Glaciers.

The first APGN Congress was held in Kyoto, Japan in 2005.

–Report sent by Tenzin Norbu and Dhondup Dolma Bhartso