Leh, 9 October --- Mr. Tenzin Norbu, the head of the Environment and Development Desk of the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration, at the invitation of the SOS Tibetan Children’s Village school in Choglamsar gave a crisp and clear power-point presentation to the senior students of the school. Titled Tibet: the Third Pole, the presentation introduced the students to the importance of the plateau to Asia and the world and growing environmental problems that beset Tibet today.
Mr. Tenzin Norbu explained how Tibet is the maker of the monsoon rains, functions as the water tower of Asia and how China’s development activities on the plateau are contributing to soil degradation. He spoke of the rampant mining activities in Tibet and deforestation that is going on, despite China’s claim that it has banned logging in Tibet after the 1998 floods that devastated China.
Mr. Tenzin Norbu talked about a joint venture between Canadian and Hong Kong companies that bottle spring water from North of Lhasa and sell it to the major cities in China’s east coast. The company is called 5100 which signifies the elevation of the location where the water is extracted. According to Mr. Tenzin Norbu, some experts say that this is damaging the wetlands of the place.
His presentation got the senior students totally engaged. A lively question-answer session followed. One student wanted to know how we Tibetans living in India can protect the environment in Tibet. Another student wanted to know why are the Chinese carting away Tibetan trees to China. Aren’t there trees in China?