As world leaders accused China of throwing into “confusion” the ongoing world climate talks in Durban, South Africa, Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) representatives are providing an alternative voice for Tibet at the world’s largest climate change summit.
Tenzin Dolma, Joint secretary and Tenzin Woebum, head of the TWA Women’s Environment and Development Desk, representing Tibet Third Pole (T3P), an international working group of Tibetans and Tibet supporters formed in response to China’s environmental threat to Tibetans and Asians, arrived in Durban on November 28 to take part in the two-week Conference of Parties (COP-17) meeting from November 28 – December 9.
In a release December 5, TWA noted that NGOs, UN observers and the media at the meeting have shown “commendable interest” in the Tibet story and the Tibetan delegation has successfully kept the Tibetan agenda on “high stakes” at the conference despite China’s overwhelming influence.
“It is significant to have the Tibet voice heard in this magnanimous gathering of leaders and activists with vested interest. This is especially so when China is painting a different picture of Tibet,” said Dolma.
According to the release, the TWA delegation have proposed six key demands, which prominently include an immediate halt to all land uses that threaten the Tibetan Plateau’s ecosystems, especially the plateau’s water resources; an immediate halt to the removal of Tibetan nomads from the grasslands; and a transparent, inclusive, and participatory trans-boundary resource management and decision-making mechanisms that includes all local and regional stakeholders whose lives depend on these ecosystem services, especially Tibet’s nomadic herders.
“The environmental campaigns by Tibetan delegates include lobbying Government delegates and pressuring them to include Tibet in the negotiations, addressing press conferences and public talks, and making presentations on Tibet’s waters, dams, and the plight of Tibetan nomads,” TWA said.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has repeatedly urged world leaders to put global interest ahead of domestic interests when dealing with issues that affect the entire world.
“The elected government, sometimes their number one priority is nation, national economy interest, and the global issues are sometimes secondary,” the Dalai Lama had said while addressing an environment conference in Sidney two years back.
“That, I think, should change. The global issues should be number one. In some cases in order to protect global issues, some sacrifice of national interest is must”.
TWA will also be launching a new publication ‘Purging the Treasure House: Displacement and the Status of the Tibetan Nomad’ on December7 at a public event.
11,810 delegates; 1409 NGOs, 86 Inter Governmental Organisations from 200 countries are attending the meeting, working for a breakthrough on the renewal of the global environmental treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, which expires next year.