Do you know?
The Tibetan Plateau or The Third Pole who contains more than 46.000 glaciers covering an area of 105.000 sq/km is the most glaciated on the earth.
Around 1,3 billion people in Asia thrive on the watershed of the rivers originating from the Tibetan Plateu.
United Nations has warned that Tibet`s glaciers could disappear within the next 100 years
The Tibetan Plateau plays a pivotal role in generating and regulating Asian monsoons.
The melting of Tibetan glaciers had led to the formation of 8.790 identified glacial takes and 204 of these are considered potentially dangerous and may lead to Lake Outburst and floods.
According to WWF, four of the world`s top ten rivers which are at the greatest risk (from dams and infrastructure, excessive water extraction, climate change, invasion species, over – fishing and Pollution) originate from the Tibetan Plateau.
According to UNDP report 2007. Tibet`s grassland are turning into desert at the rate of 2.330 km per Year.
These days the environment source of life for all beings in the world including. Tibet is undergoing extensive degeneration. At this time it is extremely important that every human being, according to his or her ability consistently puts efforts into ensuring the conservation and protection of this planets environment and its inhabitants
His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama
Environmental Degradation on the Tibetan Plateau
The Tibetan Plateu hosts one of the world`s largest rangeland ecosystems, providing habitat for numerios unique wildlife species. The plateau previously supported over 2,25 million nomadic pastoralists, making their livelihoods by raising yaks, sheeps , goats and horses. Groups of between ten to twentyfive families practice seasonal migration with their yak hair tents and their herds,periodically travelling to different grasslands that comprise 70 % of the Tibetan Plateau.
Prior to Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949 , nomads lived this traditional way of life and continuing movement has enabled the nomads to live sustainably for more than eight thousand years.
Whilst it is difficult to determine the précised number of those resettled, according to the EDD`s latest statistics, 1,43 million nomads have been removed from their ancestral grounds and are being put in concrete blocks.
Forced relocation of nomads is having a harmful impact the environment and culture of Tibet.
Nomads are being shifted to poorly constructed housing in the middle of nowhere, often in unsafe or undesirable aereas. “ Everything here is to far away and not convenient,” say a youg man who preferred not to give his name. There is no running water, no temple, no school, no place for raising animals and the quality of construction is not suitable for living – there is not enough space.
Scientists often refer to the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding mountains as the Third Pole because the area holds the largest ice masses on earth outside the polar regions. The plateau contains more than 45.000 glaciers, covering an area of 195.000 sq / km
The glaciers are the source of Asia`s largest rivers such as the Yangtze, Yellow, Mekong, Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra. Ten downstream nations in South Asia and Southeast Asia depend on these rivers. Over a third of the world`s population benefits in one way or another from rivers sourced Tibet.
Yet today many maga - darms are under construction or in planning stages for Tibet. Major rivers are being dammed, diverted and polluted. According to renowned Indian writer Brahma Chellaney in 2013, China has approved concentrated in south-east Tibet, including dams on rivers flowing to South and Southeast Asia.
Having already built more large dams the rest of the world combined, China dams building ambitions are growing every year.
They need energy for mining, industry, infrastructure and power for urban development in China.
The impact of mega – dams is huge: from reduced water quality and quantity for the downstream nations – to displacement of communities. China has forced over 25 million people out of their home to make way for dam-building; many of this people are suffering.
There is loss of habitat for endangered species. Fisheries is loss of habitat for endangered species. Fisheries are severely impacted and rich nutrients carried in silt are blocked by damming --- which leads to the issue of food security in ten nations downstream.
Tibet is a treasure trove of natural resources over 132 different minerals are found there. In March 2010, the Chinese gouverment announced plans for exploiting over 110 proven varieties of minerals (with 3000 potential mining sites) on the Tibetan Plateau , worth more than 125 Billion US Dollar.
Works is under way at hundreds of mining sites across the Tibetan Plateau . a kind of gold rush frenzy, with little regards for safety or ethics. And little or no regards for impact on local Tibetan communities and on the environment. Mines need significant power to operate and some dams are being built specifically to power mining operations.
Mining is causing socio-cultural and environmental impacts in Tibet
Local Tibetans have witnessed duming of factory waste in the rivers and destruction of grassland resulting into death of live stocks and decline of farm yield since 2006 when the mining operation started. The local Tibetan reportedly made repeated appeals to the local authorities but to not avail.