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EP Tibet Intergroup to hold Tibet environment conference/ENG

2013. június 11./Phayul.com/TibetPress

http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=33574&article=EP+Tibet+Intergroup+to+hold+Tibet+environment+conference

DHARAMSHALA, June 11: A conference on Tibet’s environment titled, “Tibet’s Environment: Denuding, Degrading & Depopulating” will be held on Wednesday, June 19 in Brussels, coinciding with the European Parliament’s Tibet Intergroup’s 97th meeting.

The conference, hosted by MEPs Satu Hassi (Greens), Thomas Mann (EPP) and Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg (S&D), is jointly organised by the Office of Tibet in Brussels, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO).

According to the organisers, the conference will be an occasion for all to “discover the multiple facets of Tibet’s struggle against the degradation of its land, air and water.”

“Over the past decades, and at an increasingly alarming rate, Tibet’s landscape has changed due to man’s presence and China’s enthusiasm to cash in on Tibet’s outstanding resources,” the organisers said in a statement.

“With its glaciers melting fast, water resources in Tibet have become deregulated. An important source of fresh water for over 10 countries, Tibet’s glaciers run a high risk of disappearing within a couple decades.”

The organisers further noted that extractive industries, such as gold or copper mining, as well as deforestation “have left gaping holes in Tibet’s already fragile landscape.”

According to China’s official statistics, the Tibetan plateau has China's largest chromium and copper reserves with most of its rich iron, gold, silver, potassium, oil, and natural gas reserves unexploited.

In September 2011, China announced plans to spend 300 billion yuan (US$46.89 billion) on 226 key projects ranging from railway and dam building to mining and promoting tourism in Tibet within the next five years.

In that same year, Chinese officials in Amdo region of eastern Tibet, now incorporated into Qinghai, released plans to invest nearly 18 billion Yuan ($2.82 billion) in the coming five years to exploit coal, iron, gold, potassium salt, copper, lead, zinc, and cobalt in the region

In increasing cases of anti-mining protests, last month, thousands of Tibetans took part in a major protest against Chinese mining activities in Driru region of eastern Tibet.

Over 4,500 Tibetans gathered near Naglha Zamba, a sacred hill rich in mineral resources, to protest against its exploitation by Chinese miners.

Keynote speaker at the conference will be Tenzin Norbu, head of the Environment and Development Desk of the Central Tibetan Administration.

The Tibet Intergroup of the European Parliament, which has more than 110 MEPs as members, was founded Michel Hervé (French member of the EP) in 1989 to fulfill three main objectives: creating opportunities for informal discussion amongst MEPs who were interested in the situation in Tibet; providing information on the subject for their colleagues and the public in general and encouraging various form of political actions.

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