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Environment & Climate

One of the most environmentally sensitive regions in the world, XXXXXXXX
The Tibetan plateau, also called the “Third Pole” because of the large reserves of fresh water it contains, is a strategic region from an environmental point of view. Global warming is up to three times higher than in the rest of the world, and its glaciers and permafrost are rapidly disappearing, with devastating consequences for the Tibetans, the Hans, but also the 2 billion people in Asia who depend of its rivers. The climate change affecting Tibet also has consequences for weather trends throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
However, instead of protecting this fragile ecosystem, China's development policies in Tibet, including urbanization, intensive dam construction and large-scale mining, are accelerating the warming process and threatening the ecological balance of the whole region. This environmental degradation on the "roof of the world" is further intensified by Chinese policies of sedentarization of millions of Tibetan nomadic pastoralists, which threaten their identity and traditional way of life, despite a global scientific consensus according to which the Land management by indigenous populations as well as the mobility of herds are essential to the good health of grasslands and help to mitigate global warming.

Amid a worrying development, China is also seeking support from international institutions and governments regarding the creation of national parks on the plateau, from where Tibetan nomads are being relocated to be settled in "new “socialist villages", causing economic and social destructuring. This month, the Chinese authorities notably succeeded in having the Hoh Xil nature reserve listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, even though this reserve is located in the middle of three major nature reserves which increasingly exclude the use land by Tibetan nomads, place the state as the sole controlling agency, encourage mass tourism, and threaten the habitat of the Tibetan antelope (chiru) .

EU4TIBET is a campaign led jointly by the Tibet Interest Group of the European Parliament, the International Campaign for Tibet and the Office of Tibet Brussels, with the significant support of the International Tibet Network, Tibet Support Groups and Tibetan Communities in Europe.

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