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.