While development versus environmental conservation has been a burning debate across the world, China’s development projects in Tibet, too, have been faulted for causing harm to nature. However, last week’s white paper published by China on Tibet’s ecological progress is being seen as an acceptance of the imposing environmental challenges that China faces in Tibet. “The Communist Party of China and the Chinese government have taken ecological conservation as a top priority, and regard protection of the plateau as a vital task for China’s survival and development,” said the white paper published by the State Council Information Office, titled “Ecological Progress on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.” This plateau is a key eco-safety barrier in China and South Asia. Located in southwest China, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, about 2.6 million square km in area, covers the entire Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province, in addition to parts of Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Xinjiang.
Dhanashree Jairam, co-cordinator, Centre for Climate Studies, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, said, “In general, we have seen a downward graph of the health of our mountains, rivers and other natural resources and the whole Pamir range has been no exception. But the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, a part of this range, lies entirely in China’s territory; hence, China comes under harsher scrutiny since it is responsible for the health of the plateau which feeds major rivers of South Asia.”[Source]