Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Tibetan Delegates Attend World Climate Summit in Doha

DOHA, Qatar: The world leaders from different countries and representatives from IGOs and NGOs have gathered in Doha for the climate summit at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) which began today under a very tight security. Two Tibetan researchers also got registered for this historic event. They represent millions of Tibetans whose voices are suppressed under the Communist military regime in Tibet and those that are often lost in the economic deals and negotiations.

Mr Tenzin Norbu, head of the Environment and Development Desk of the Central Tibetan Administration and Ms Tenzin Chodon, a researcher at the Tibetan Women’s Association in Dharamsala, India, arrived in the Islamic state of Qatar on 2 December. For the remaining five days of the ongoing conference, they will lobby, raise awareness and strengthen the network with the riparian states that depends on the rivers that flows from Tibet.
Mr Tenzin Norbu, Head of the Environment and Development Desk of the Central Tibetan Administration (sitting on left) speaking to a Chinese delegate at the climate summit in Doha

Yesterday, in a live interview to the Climate Change Studio (, Mr Norbu told that so far the Chinese policies in Tibet have failed badly in terms of environmental protection and cultural preservation. And the current Chinese plan of upgrading its HPP to more than 200 GW in the coming years would seriously threatened the health of those rivers that flows from Tibet. On the cultural side, the Tibetan nomads and farmers are now being settled or removed to concrete barracks to protect the grasslands. Their way of life is regarded as backward but the abandoned grasslands now lures the extractive industries.
Mr. Tenzin Norbu being interviewed by the Climate Change Studio

Tibetan Plateau as such is regarded as the planetary third pole and the water tower of Asia. The climate change impacts on this vast 2.5 million square km are of major concerns not only to the local pastoralist and farmers but also to the billions of people that lives downstream.

Even though the Climate negotiations in Doha are stalling and the developed countries are backing away from committing to ambitious reductions in carbon emissions. The Tibetan researchers are taking this opportunity to raise the environmental issues in Tibet. Today, on the 4 December, they both attended a breakfast meeting with the nine European greens members and also had the chance to brief them about the Tibet’s issue and distribute materials related to environmental crisis in Tibet. They also met three green delegates from India who also shared the concerns over the Chinese damming spree.

They also attended a side event organized at the Chinese pavilion at the QNCC, where Ms Huang Wenhang, head of the division of Climate Change under the NDRC gave a presentation about the adaptation process and how much PRC is investing in the ecological conservation.

During the Q and A session, Mr Tenzin Norbu asked if so many amounts are invested in the ecological mitigation and conservation why are the local peoples in Tibet and Xinjiang provinces not fully compensated and still faces problems on daily basis. Ms Huang Wenhang responded by saying that the government will look into these problems and will soon address the issues.

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