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

Friday, 26 October 2012

International Day of Climate Action Observed in Sambhota Tibetan School, Paonta

Ms Chokyi from EDD, talking to the students of Sambhota Tibetan school in Paonta about climate change.

The students participating in an environmental awareness program at the school.

DHARAMSHALA: The Environment and Development Desk (EDD) of the Department of Information and International Relations, held a comprehensive talk on climate change and its impact on the Tibetan plateau.
Ms Chokyi, a researcher from the EDD section, talked about current climate changes taking place on the Tibetan Plateau with glacier meltdown and desertification of the plateau’s grassland. These changes on the plateau in turn subsequently bring negative implications on the Tibetan nomads and their sustainable way of life.
With the theme for the Climate Action Day ‘Let’s make a switch’, she urged students to do what is in their capacity to control climate change such as choosing renewable energy, planting trees, switching lights off when its not in use and recycling waste materials.
The one-day program included a mono-act performed by students from different houses, eco-related games conducted by the junior students, exhibition on climate change ‘cause and effect’ and a go-green fancy marathon race.
The principal, Mr Migmar Tsering concluded the program with his speech emphasising on the practical implementation of environmental education to conserve our nature.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Why Is China Taking Away Trees From Tibet? Aren’t There Trees in China?

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.

Tibet Brings the Himalayas Together in Ladakh

October 7, 2012 10:45 am

Leh, 6 October — Under a brilliant, sunlight sky in Leh, 11 experts on Tibet and the Himalayas discussed the ancient cultural and spiritual contacts between the two in a three-day conference organised by the Delhi-based Foundation for Non-violent Alternatives (FNVA) from 5 to 7 October.

Representation of Tibet at COP11

October 9, 2012 2:54 pm

HYDERABAD: As representatives from over 170 countries began deliberations in Hyderabad yesterday on the way forward to protect the planet’s biodiversity, a small contingent of Tibetan environmentalists are also voicing concerns, raising awareness and urging the parties and NGOs to help protect the unique biodiversity of the Tibetan Plateau.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


ཉེ་བའི་ལོ་རབས་ནང་ཚན་རིག་པ་རྣམས་ཀྱི་བོད་འདི་ས་ཡི་གོ་ལའི་ཡང་རྩེར་གྱུར་བའི་མཐོ་སྒང་གཞི་རྒྱ་ཆེ་ཤོས་དེ་ཡིན་པ་ཤེས་རྟོགས་བྱུང་བ་ལྟར། གངས་ཅན་པ་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་ཀྱང་ཆེས་སྔ་མོ་ཞིག་ནས་བོད་འདི་ཡུལ་གྲུ་གཞན་ལས་མཐོ་བའི་གནས་ཤིག་ཡིན་པ་ངོས་འཛིན་གསལ་བོ་ཐུབ་སྟེ་རང་གི་ཡུལ་ལ་སྒང་པ་བོད་ཅེས་འབོིད་ཀྱིན་ཡོད་མོད།

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

EDD discusses Mining in Tibet

EDD head Mr. Tenzin Norbu was invited by Voice of America to discuss the rise of under regulated mining in Tibet and its impact on Tibetan society, economy, and environment.

Here is the video of the discussion:

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

EDD concludes Environment Awareness Program in South India

The team of researchers of Environment and development desk of DIIR successfully concluded its month-long awareness program among the monastic and lay Tibetan communities in the five settlements in south India.

Recently, EDD concluded its awareness program in south India during a hall-packed gathering in Camp 4 of Mundgod Doeguling Tibetan settlement. The month-long program was well received by people from different walks of life and was well attended by a total of around 5,800 people in five major Tibetan settlements in south India including Bylakuppe Lugsung Samdupling, Bylakuppe Dickyi Larsoe, Hunsur Rabgyeling, Kollegal Dhondenling and Mundgod Doeguling.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Environmental Awareness Program in South Indian Tibetan Settlements

EDD staff Mr. Jigme Norbu la and Tsering Dhundup la are currently in South India and this is the short report they have sent to us;

Around 600 monks gathered outside the courtyard of Sera Lachi Monastery on Tuesday, braving light shower and savage attacks of mosquitoes, to listen to a talk about the present environment and development issues concerning Tibet. Many monks reacted in distress as they learned and saw pictures of melting glaciers, deteriorating permafrost, degrading grasslands, displacement of nomads and large-scale resource extraction in Tibet.

Monday, 16 July 2012

A Culture Endangered: Depopulating the Grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau

The following article by EDD was published on Human Rights in China 中国人权 ( on July 9, 2012

Overview: Melting Tibetan Plateau

With an average elevation of 4,500 meters, the Tibetan Plateau is one of the most distinctive land-features on earth. It occupies an area of 2.5 million square kilometers—more than one quarter of the size of China—and is the world’s highest and largest plateau in the world. For many generations, this Plateau has provided the basic necessities to sustain life, allowing human civilization to flourish beyond its vast border. The modern era now begins to acknowledge the significance of its strategic location for both developing peace and harmony within the region or conflict.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Corporate Social Responsibility in Tibet and China

By Tushar Gupta*

What is Corporate Social responsibility?

In the world of enterprise, the main “responsibility” for corporations has historically been to make money and increase shareholder value. In other words, corporate financial responsibility has been the driving force. However, in the last decade, a movement defining broader corporate responsibilities for the environment, for local communities, for working conditions, and for ethical practices has gathered momentum. This new driving force is known as corporate social responsibility (CSR).

While there is no universal definition of corporate social responsibility, it generally refers to transparent business practices that are based on ethical values, compliance with legal requirements, and respect for people, communities, and the environment. Thus, beyond making profits, companies are responsible for the totality of their impact on people and the planet (Sir Geoffrey Chandler, 2001). Nowadays stakeholders expect that companies should be more environmentally and socially responsible in conducting their business.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

One railroad serves all (Purposes): Geopolitical analysis of the Qinghai-Tibet Railroad

by Ms. S. Swathi Meenakshi*

He who holds Tibet dominates the Himalayan piedmont; he who dominates the Himalayan piedmont threatens the Indian subcontinent and he who threatens the Indian subcontinent may well have all of South Asia within his reach, and with it all of Asia.
~ George Ginsburgs and Michael Mathos[i]

Relations between India and China have traditionally been tenuous. Earlier, the mountainous terrain of the Himalayan ranges, Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal acted as buffer areas to ease tension between the two Asian giants. But, recent infrastructure developments along the border raise questions of concern. China’s build up holds important security implications for India and adds heat to age old territorial claims. Given this background, of particular significance is the construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway line. This railroad symbolizes China’s sovereignty over Tibet while establishing its technological prowess in building the highest railroad in the world[ii]. The railroad will gain ever more strategic significance as it connects hitherto inaccessible parts of the Tibetan plateau with the ‘Chinese motherland’. This paper tries to examine the geopolitical[iii] implications of such developments.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Tibet’s Environmental Issues Raised at Rio+20 (UNCSD) Summit by EDD Staff

EDD staff continues to raise pressing issues concerning Tibet’s environment during the events and activities of UNCSD Rio+20 conference being held in Brazil.

Mr. Tempa Gyaltsen Zamlha, a researcher at the Environment and Development Desk (DIIR) of Central Tibetan Administration has been taking active participation in several events and activities of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) commonly called Rio+20 being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Conference focuses on two main themes:  a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Transforming Yamdrok Yumtso: Development for Whom and At What Cost?

According to reports, the authorities of Shannan Prefecture in southern Tibet have ordered to stop plans to run lake cruises on sacred Yamdrok Lake.

Recently, as part of the tourism development program of the Nagarze county, a tour company had already bought and launched a tour boat on the Yamdrok Yumtso (Tibetan: ཡར་འབྲོག་གཡུ་མཚོ་, Wylie: yar-'brog g.yu-mtsho) and was planning to offer rides around the lake beginning next month. Besides, the program also included setting up over 200 beach umbrellas on the shore of the lake. On May 24, the tour company and the Langkazi county government launched a tour boat named Qomolangma, which was bought from inland districts in China and also began trial runs reports Global Times.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

World Environment Day: EDD in Action

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 marks the 40th observance of World Environment Day, a global day for environmental awareness organized by the United Nation since 1972.

In Dharamshala (a north Indian city in Himachal Pradesh), several events and activities were organized to raise awareness about environment protection and discuss ways to restore it. Tibetan Women's organization observed the day by organizing various green events such as marathon race, cycle rally, mass clean up & tree plantation. The Local Indian NGOs led by Prof. Kalia also organized events which included poster and speech competition among children of three local Indian schools.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Formation and Fate of World's Largest Canyon

The steep topography along the Yarlung-Tsangpo River ( (Tibetan: ཡར་ཀླུངས་གཙང་པོ་, Wylie: yar kLungs gTsang po) is created due to the interplay between the forces of tectonics and powerful river erosion, which in turn leads to large landslides.

This is the conclusion drawn by Isaac J. Larsen and David R. Montgomery from the University of Washington (presented online May 27, 2012 in Nature Geoscience) after quantifying landslide erosion rates in the eastern Himalaya. 

They closely observed an area of the 150-mile Tsangpo Gorge in southeastern Tibet, where the Tsangpo plunges more than 6,500 feet (1.25 miles), before entering India to form Brahmaputra River and flow into Bay of Bengal through the Ganges River delta.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Tibet:The Third Pole - Importance of Environmental Stewardship

This paper was presented by EDD during the 6th World Parliamentarian' Convention on Tibet held on April 27 to 29, 2012; Ottawa, Canada

        Conference Venue: Government Conference Centre, Ottawa, Canada

Introduction: Transboundary commons

With an average elevation of 4500 meters above mean sea level, the Tibetan Plateau physically dominates the geographical map of the world. The whole plateau stretches for almost 3,000 kilometers from west to east and 1,500 kilometers from south to north. Since time immemorial, the plateau held the Hindu Kush Himalayan Ice Sheet, considered as the largest ice mass and reservoir of fresh water outside the two poles, hence the name ‘Third Pole’. The Tibetan plateau even though very inhospitable to many species due to its high altitude and extreme climates holds one of the most diverse plant and animal species, some of which are unique to the Tibetan Plateau for instance Wild Yak, Tibetan Antelope and medicinal plants such as Rheum palmatum (Chumtsa), Frittilaria (Abhika) and about 400 species of Rhododendron.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Environmental Protection: In Belief, Custom and Songs

The conscious awareness about environmental protection has been deeply rooted in Tibetan religious beliefs, customs, moral obligations and taboos. For thousands of years, Tibetans have maintained a harmonious relationship with the natural environment by protecting the ecosystem, treasuring resources and conserving it for future generations.

The idea of protecting nature dates back to, as early as 3000 years ago when Tibetans followed the primitive Bon religion. According to Bon, everything in the world including mountain, water, tree etc.have its own deity, who can both protect and punish based on human behavior towards nature.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Anthropogenic (Human-Induced) Factors Causing Environmental Degradation on the Tibetan Plateau

Various anthropogenic factors on the Tibetan Plateau are also responsible for speeding up the environmental degradation and its associated problems. One of the major causes has been the Chinese government’s policy to bring changes in land use, in particular, conversion of grassland into cropland to maximize agricultural production. In addition, several developmental projects and mining activities are also adding to the ecological problems in Tibet.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Resource Extraction and Deforestation in Tibet

Tibet’s elevation has produced a unique, resource-rich geology. The Indo-Eurasian plate collision that began 55 million years ago and resultant compression of the Plateau, has led to the formation of suture (weak) zones where magma from beneath erupt onto surface to form volcanic rocks. These suture zones are highly rich in minerals of various types prominent among them are chromium, copper, gold, lithium etc.

The unchecked mining operations in Tibet have been a major cause for environmental degradation since 1960s. Extraction of mineral ores and natural resources (chromium, salt, copper, silver, coal, gold, lithium, lead, zinc, asbestos, oil, gas, magnesium, potash and uranium) has been vigorously carried out by the Chinese government to fuel its growing economy and to lessen its dependence on costly imports. 

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Contraction of Wetlands and Drying Up of Lakes

Wetlands, often referred to as earth’s kidney, has played a vital role in sustaining ecosystems that serves millions of lives. They act as an enormous sponge slowly releasing water into rivers all round year.

The fresh water wetlands on the Tibetan Plateau are distributed in an area of around 1,33,000 With their wealth of stored carbon, these wetlands provide a potential sink for theatmospheric carbon. It was also observed that the role of wetland as a carbon sink was closely related with the water table and the amount of precipitation.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Grassland Degradation and Removal of Tibetan Pastoralists (Drogpas)

Tibet’s rangeland with an average altitude of 4500 meters, covers approximately 70% of Tibet’s total area. The Alpine grassland at high altitude occupies over 60% of the total rangeland in Tibet. Pastoralism on the Tibetan Plateau is an adaptation to a cold environment at elevations above the limit of cultivation. Consequently, pastoral nomads of Tibet have maintained a unique pastoral culture for more than 8000 years. Tibet’s grasslands represent one of the last remaining agropastoral regions in the world. The pasturelands are made habitable through the co-existence of the Tibetan people and their yaks. According to recent archaeological fieldwork, the Tibetan Plateau has been used extensively by pastoral nomads, who developed deep understanding of grassland dynamics and veterinary knowledge for close to 9,000 years.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Degradation of Frozen Earth Layers and Release of Green House Gases on the Tibetan Plateau

The presence or absence of the permafrost layer necessitates major variations in the soil’s physical structure mainly its moisture and nutrient content. The permafrost covers approximately 1.3 to 1.6 million sq. km. These covers have thickness ranging from 1 to 130 m, depending on such local characteristics as slope and exposure, altitude, geological structure, soils, and soil water content.

The permafrost and ground ice in Tibet. Image copyright EDD (CTA)

The alpine permafrost on the Tibetan Plateau stores about 12,300 million tons of Carbon. Significant amount of methane gas are also trapped in the permafrost, preventing its release into the atmosphere. The alpine permafrost on the Plateau are characterized by warm permafrost and rich ground ice, as a result they are sensitive to climate change and are particularly vulnerable to rising temperature.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Impact on River Hydrology in Tibet and Sustenance of Lower Riparian Countries

Snow peaks and glaciers enable Tibet to be the source of major rivers that flow into Asia and meet its water demand. Rivers such as Machu (Yellow), Drichu (Yangtze), Zachu (Mekong), Gyalmo Nyulchu (Salween), Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra), Macha Khabab (Karnali), Langchen Khabab (Sutlej), Sengey Khabab (Indus), Bhumchu (Arun) and Lhodrak Sharchu (Manas) have their sources in the Tibetan Plateau.

Drainage Basin of major rivers originating from the Tibetan Plateau (Image copyright: Environment and Development Desk, CTA)

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Glacial Meltdown and Glacial Lake Outburst Floods

The scale of glacial melting on the west Rongbuk Glacier between 1921 and 2008. (Courtesy: RGS & David Breashears/GlacialWorks)
The Tibetan Plateau holds the Hindu-Kush Himalayan Ice Sheet, considered the largest ice mass outside the two poles. Hence scientists and geologists are increasingly using the name ‘Third Pole’ to pronounce the global significance of Tibet’s environment.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Tibetan Plateau and Climate Change: An Overview

            Source: EDD

Today, climate change and its impact is a grave concern to the entire world and one that can no longer be ignored. Such a change is not an inexorable force of nature but in fact, has known human causes and available solutions to restore climatic stability.

After Arctic and Antarctic, the Tibetan Plateau is Earth’s largest store of ice and a hotspot of climate change. Due to its unique geographical location and high altitude, Tibetan Plateau faces rapid changes in its weather patterns and ecosystems in more extreme ways than other parts of the world. The Plateau has been warming three times as fast as the global average and its glaciers are shrinking more rapidly than anywhere else.

Despite its cold environment, for thousands of years the Tibetan people inhabited this plateau and created cultural landscapes based on the principles of simplicity and non-violence, in harmonywith the environment.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Tibet and Climate Change: What’s the underlying story?

Why Tibet matters? Several scientists have realized the importance and Tibet’s role in the planetary climate. However, the six million Tibetans are silenced and forbidden to form their own organizations, people think Tibet is small and unimportant on a global scale. Actually, it is an immense upland, with an area of ~2.5 million sq. km and averaging over 4500 meters in elevation. It is not just the largest and highest area in the world today (also referred to as ‘the roof of the world’); it may be the largest and highest in all geologic history. It is also close to 2% of the land surface of the planet.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Last Of The Mogru Nomadic Clan (a documentary review)

The tourism boom in Mogru town of Tso Ngon region (Ch: Qinghai) has brought in new asphalt laden roads for the nomads so that they could ride faster on their horses to the nearest town! It even brought new faces from far across the mainland China along with their waste to litter at this holy lake of Tso Ngon. If not for these development activities that attracts regular visitors and tourists, the Mogru clans cannot afford in their natural lifetime to visit mainland China to meet and see those peoples wearing flashy clothes with headphones.

Watch the documentary from this link here

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Geological Evolution and Seismicity of the Tibetan Plateau

The Geological Evolution of the Tibetan Plateau

The Tibetan Plateau is undoubtedly the most prominent and distinguishable feature on the face of the globe, rightly known as the ‘Roof of the World’.  With an average elevation of around 4500 meters (14,763 ft.) and covering an approximate 2.5 million sq. km of area, it is the largest and highest plateau in earth’s entire geological history. It is surrounded by the Himalaya-Karakoram complex in the south and west that contains 14 major peaks of over 8000 meters including Mount Everest. To the north, the plateau is bounded by the deserts of the Tarim Basin and Tsaidam while a series of alternating deep forested valleys and high mountain ranges marks its eastern periphery.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Degrading Wetlands of the Tibetan Plateau

Every year on February 2, World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally which marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971. The international theme for World Wetlands Day 2012 is ‘Wetlands and Tourism’.

Presently the parties of the Ramsar Convention have 160 contracting members including China who joined the Convention in 1992. The list of Wetlands of International Importance includes 1994 wetlands, with a total area of about 192 million hectares. Out of this 41 sites are located in China, covering an area of 3,709,853 hectares. 

The wetland is known as the "kidney of the earth" and is one of the three major ecosystems along with forest and ocean. The wetland plays a key role in flood control, water conservation, pollution control, environment regulation and so on. It is deemed as a warehouse with water and food for humans as well as a habitat for rare wildlife to overwinter and reproduce. 

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Diary of a Tibetan Nomad: the Last Page

Following is a fictitious |diary of a nomadic boy reflecting the impact of China's nomad resettlement program on the Tibetan nomadic lifestyle.


At the age of 85, my grandmother suddenly grew weak and unhappy since moving into this concrete house few months back. She gazed at the faraway vast rangeland where small herds of yaks were grazing on the hills, gasped a long breath and whispered in her final voice "Why aren't we in the summer pasture?"

The joyful days of laughter echoing from the numerous holy peaks and valleys were gone. I remember once when father playing a flute while mother singing in her eloquent voice a song in praise of nature echoing from three different peaks, I was so amused and excited listening to their songs that I actually began to sing it thereafter.

Friday, 27 January 2012

EDD submitted a written testimonial to USCC

EDD submitted to the US China Economic and Security Review Commission, a written testimony entitled, "Water Security and Environmental Management on the Tibetan Plateau" which has been posted on the commission's website. 

Water Security and Environmental Management on the Tibetan Plateau
Prepared by
Environmental and Development Desk
Department of Information and International Relations
Central Tibetan Administration
Dharamsala – India
for the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission
January 26, 2012

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

EDD at Kalachakra 2012

The commencement of the New Year was marked in India by the ten-day Kalachakra initiation by His Holiness the Dalai Lama from January 1 to 10, 2012 at the sacred Buddhist site of Bodhgaya, India. This highly important Buddhist initiation witnessed the attendance of around 200,000 disciples from 63 countries including over 7000 Tibetans from Tibet. 

During this highly anticipated and eventful gathering, EDD carried out various activities to raise awareness about the problems relating to Tibet’s environment with special focus on the Tibetan pilgrims from Tibet and devotees from western countries.

On January 7, 2012, EDD organized an hour-long talk for a large gathering of Tibetans from Tibet on a range of topics including the significance of Tibetan Plateau, the impact of climate change, mining activities, illegal poaching of the wildlife and China’s policies such as nomad resettlement. It was a rare meeting with Tibetans from across the Himalayas who were attentive throughout some of whom even stayed back after the talk to share their experiences about environmental degradation in their localities back home.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

To Dam or Not to Damn the Yarlung Tsangpo

Due to its rising power shortages coupled with increasing international pressure to reduce its carbon emissions, China has dammed all the major rivers originating from Tibet. The most recent case is the damming of the untapped upper reaches of the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra). 

A major hydropower project in Tibet at rZam (Tib:ཛམ་; Ch: Zangmu), which began in November 2010, is the first of at least 6 dams proposed on the Yarlung Tsangpo that have been approved. The most ambitious of their project is a 38,000 MW mega dam at Metog (Tib: མེ་ཏོག; Ch: Motuo) on the great bend of the mighty Tsangpo, where the river descents ~2000 m before entering India (Fig. 1). This mega project has the potential to generate output more than twice the capacity of the world's largest power station, the Three Gorges Dam.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Are Tibetan Glaciers Melting?

Recently, there has been a lot of debate about the effect of climate change on the Himalayan glaciers. Many reports suggest that the glaciers of the Himalaya are melting and even receding at an alarming rate, and if it continues, the rivers will initially cause flooding and later dry up, thus affecting millions of people in Asia. But, there are many who have challenged this argument and believe that situation isn’t as bad as the reports such as IPCC 2007 would make us believe.

A recent report launched during the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) in Durban (South Africa) by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) allegedly confirms the alarming problem of Himalayan glacial melting. This report follows an embarrassing and controversial report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 which claims that the region’s glaciers would be gone by 2035.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Rifting of the Tibetan Plateau

One of the prominent and distinguishable feature on the vast Tibetan Plateau is its spectacular rift valleys. Many scientists reckon that these rifts are formed due to the east-west extension of the crustal layer caused by active tectonic deformation. In this post, we will briefly discuss the formation of these rift valleys that adds to the grandeur of Tibet, the roof of the world.

Around 50 to 55 million years ago, Indian plate started colliding with the Eurasian plate, resulting in crustal shortening due to the northward movement of Indian plate relative to the stable Eurasia at a rate of 35-50 mm per year. The process led to the eventual construction of the Tibetan Plateau.