Tibet’s Environment at Stake

The natural resources and environment of Tibet have frequently been misused. Peace and tranquillity in the formerly sovereign nation have rapidly deteriorated ever since China’s government conquered Tibet without authorization in the 1950s.

In a world where environmental issues are currently the most threatening, Tibet is also dealing with serious environmental issues, but instead of getting the proper attention, the issues are dismissed as a straightforward territorial conflict.

The world has ignored the environmental degradation that has occurred there as well as the reality that Tibetans lack the rights to even speak out against issues hurting their own land and way of life due to China’s authoritarian rule in Tibet and their depiction of Tibet as a part of themselves. There are serious environmental issues that Tibet will soon have to deal with. Beijing is currently splintering and destroying Tibet’s nature-dependent systems for their own gain, utilising it as a dumping ground and wreaking environmental havoc. According to Tibet Press, China, which currently rules Tibet, views the area as a dump rather than a safe haven and does not give Tibet the resources it needs to safeguard this extremely fragile yet important ecosystem and distinct biome. Through environmental destruction and degradation encouraged by Beijing’s policies, Tibet has been forced to confront the grim truth of climate change. According to reports, major lithium and nuclear (uranium) mines have an impact on the monsoon cycle in addition to having a significant carbon footprint due to hydrocarbon emissions into the atmosphere.

Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration attended the opening of the oneday seminar organised by Smt. Ruby Mukherjee, the Regional Convenor of Eastern Region III, Core group for Tibetan Cause-India, at the EZCC Hall (Salt Lake-Kolkata). The PRC’s abuse of human rights in Tibet, the destruction of Tibet’s environment (deforestation, illegal mining, dam construction—violation of the right to water), the awarding of the Bharat Ratna to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the veracity of China’s border with India, and the liberation of Kailash Mansarovar were the main topics of the seminar. On January 4, a traditional Bengali dance performance in Sikyong’s reception marked the start of the day-long lecture. The chief guest and other dignitaries on the dais were given ceremonial Tibetan khatags after Smt. Ruby Mukherjee’s introductory remarks. Sikyong Penpa Tsering, the principal guest of the occasion, spoke to the crowd and emphasised the long-standing historical and cultural ties between Tibet and India that date back to the seventh century. In his lecture, he focused on Tibet as a preserver of ancient Indian traditions, emphasising the introduction of Buddhism from India after Tibetan letters were derived from Devanagri.He also informed the audience of China’s violations of Tibetans’ human rights and cultural practises, such as the establishment of colonial boarding schools to keep young Tibetans away from their traditions, the use of a grid-lock system to
restrain Tibetans, the collection of DNA samples and iris scans to track down dissidents inside Tibet, among other alarming issues. Furthermore, “almost 80% of Tibetan youngsters were made to attend colonial-style Chinese boarding schools where they were not taught the Tibetan language or culture but rather were instructed in the Chinese mentality.

Sikyong also criticised China’s aggressive strategy of “consolidating the idea of a single Han national identity,” which tries to eradicate and Sinicize Tibetan identity and has prompted Tibetans inside Tibet to self-immolate as a method of peaceful protest. The PRC’s environmental degradation on the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) in Tibet, which jeopardises Assam and Bangladesh’s water security and could even trigger a natural disaster in these riparian areas, was also brought to their attention. In 2018, muddy water was witnessed pouring from Tibet down the Brahmaputra, which was presumably brought on by upstream construction. To transport water from the Brahmaputra to the parched areas of western China, the Chinese government is building a tunnel more than 1,000 kilometres long.

The tunnel will extend from close to Tsangmo in Tibet to the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang. For more than 50 years, Chinese activities in Tibet have raised concerns within India’s security establishment. However, a recent development has increased the threat to Indian interests to entirely new heights. China has started a number of large-scale development projects to grow its economy. Now, the Chinese government is said to have started a brand-new project amid the towering peaks of the Tibetan plateau that is extravagant even by China’s lavish standards. China is reportedly working to construct the longest tunnel in the world, a project that might seriously harm the north-eastern provinces of India’s agriculture.

According to media reports, the Chinese government is constructing a 1,000 km long tunnel to transport water from the Brahmaputra to the dry parts of western China. The tunnel will extend from close to Tsangmo in Tibet to the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang. Two of the largest rivers in the Indian subcontinent, the Brahmaputra and the Indus, originate in Tibet. The Indus River travels through Pakistan before entering the Arabian Sea via northwest India. Before it meets the Bay of Bengal, the Brahmaputra flows through northeastern India and Bangladesh. Both rivers rank among the biggest in the world. The Brahmaputra river’s course has been changed by China for a long time. The Brahmaputra River, which runs through Tibet before passing through the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam on its way to Bangladesh, is known in China as Yarlung Zangbo. In Xinjiang, there is a serious water deficit. China plans to import water from Tibet to help with the water deficit. This makes the tunnel that carries water from Tibet to Xinjiang all the more unique. Building it will cost $147.3 million per kilometre. Through this tube, almost 300 billion gallons of water can be sent annually. The tunnel China is constructing has raised more worries throughout the rest of the world.

Experts have really already issued warnings that this tunnel will obliterate Tibet’s wildlife. A further
risk that the project will enhance is earthquake activity. Such grandiose undertakings have reportedly been attempted in the past, but their outcomes were disastrou

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