Tibet’s Environment highlighted at the United Nations

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On March 8, 2018, Mr. Tempa Gyaltsen Zamlha, an environment research fellow at the Tibet Policy Institute gave a detailed presentation on ‘Violation of socio-environmental rights of the Tibetan people’ at the United Nations in Geneva.

Mr. Tempa Gyaltsen began the presentation by highlighting the global significance of the Tibetan Plateau and then went into detail on how the Tibetan people’s right for a ‘Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable environment as per the United Nations’ 2018 Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment (United Nations Human Rights Special Procedures) is violated by the Chinese government through different ways and means.

The presentation focused on four case studies – The violation of environmental laws and nature reserve regulations by permitting mining inside a nature reserve in Zatoe. The violation of the right to accurate information China falsification the causes behind the Gyama mine landslide that killed 83 workers some years ago. The violation of right to clean and safe drinking water by allowing lithium Mine Company in Minyak Lhagong to release chemical waste into rivers that caused mass death of fishes. The violation of cultural rights of the Tibetan people by issuing permits to mine on sacred mountains in Amchok and suppressing peaceful protesters. He further added that the agony caused by mining on the sacred mountain in Amchok was so much that it led to three self-immolations in the region.

Also present at the event was Kalon Karma Yeshi of Central Tibetan Administration. The honorable Kalon gave a brief introduction on the current socio and political plights of the Tibetans in Tibet. Mr. Karma Yeshi also reminded the United Nations on its duties and fullfilling the hopes and expectation of the Central Tibetan Adminstration and the Tibetan people.

Officials from various UN permanent missions, NGOs, Environment Groups and Chinese were present at the event to hear the Tibetan speakers and raise questions.

The event was organized by the Society for Threatened Peoples and Geneva for Human Rights at the Palais des Nations (Place of Nations) inside the United Nations in Geneva. Mr Tempa Gyaltsen spoke as an environment Research Fellow at the Tibet Policy Institute.

Mr. Tempa Gyaltsen also spoke on Tibet’s Environment to the members of Tibetan Community in Switzerland on March 4 and he has another talk at the University of Zurich next week.

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