Projects filed under: Tibet Third Pole
Tibet Third Pole

Tibet: Under threat from extreme climate change impacts. Home to the largest store of fresh water outside the Arctic and Antarctic, Tibet is on the frontline of global climate change and under serious threat from China’s failed policies. Tibet’s glaciers feed the rivers that are the lifeblood of Asia, providing water for more than one billion people in ten nations downstream of Tibet.  Experts agree that Tibet is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. Glaciers are melting, putting millions of people downstream at risk from floods, water shortages and sea level rises, threatening coastal communities and habitats. […]

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Nomads

Tibet’s nomads have lived sustainably the the plateau’s grasslands for millennia, in harmony with this globally significant ecosystem.  The forced relocation and settlement of Tibetan nomads is one of the most severe and arguably most misguided aspects of Beijing’s grand plans for Tibet. In only a few years Chinese authorities have reportedly moved over two million Tibetans from their home on the grasslands to newly constructed settlements, profoundly altering Tibet’s social and environmental fabric. The policy is as self-defeating as it is unjust. Stripped of the livelihoods that have sustained them for thousands of years, a once proud […]

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Greenhouse Gases

Greenhouse gases, natural and human induced, are the major factor behind climate change. In the past century, human activities have substantially increased the amount of those gases in the atmosphere, resulting in global warming. Because bigger states are producing the bulk of those emissions, it is important that they take the lead in reducing emissions. Nearly 20 per cent of the world’s population depends on the freshwater rivers fed by the Himalayan glaciers. Because the Tibetan Plateau is warming, the glaciers are melting, and melting faster than they can accumulate ice. As the Tibetan Plateau warms the entire Himalayan […]

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Global Warming

Tibet is warming TWICE AS FAST as the rest of the world. Glaciers are melting, putting millions of people downstream at risk from floods, water shortages and sea level rises, threatening coastal communities and habitats. As temperatures rise, the permafrost layer thaws, releasing trapped methane into the atmosphere. Methane is another powerful greenhouse gas which exacerbates warming, further contributing to a climate change loop. Temperature increases and glacial melt will provide more water in the short-term, but more run-off water will lead to increased flooding, negative impacts on fisheries and a destruction of river ecosystems. Over the long-term, […]

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Megadams and Water Diversion

The Tibetan Plateau is home to the largest store of fresh water outside the Arctic and Antarctic, and is on the frontline of global climate change. If you look at a map of Asia you can soon realize how Tibet is vital for billions of people across Asia. A staggering proportion of the earth’s population lives downstream of Tibet and have a stake in the rapid changes taking place on the ‘roof of the world’. A large scale project by China is underway to build a vast number of large hydroelectric dams and water diversion projects. Not only do these […]

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Unregulated Mining

From copper for transmission lines to lithium for mobile phone parts, Tibet holds immense stores of key minerals craved by the modern Chinese and global economies. Much like the Arctic, the Tibetan Plateau is a new frontier for fossil fuel extraction and China is investing in wide scale mining across the plateau with devastating environmental and social outcomes. Until recently Tibet was protected by its remoteness, its vast mineral reserves largely beyond reach. Today this is changing, as the Chinese Government pours billions of Yuan into new infrastructure, opening up Tibet’s once inaccessible riches to industrial exploitation. Tectonic changes […]

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Grassland Degradation

The world’s grasslands hold around one fifth of the world’s soil carbon and are a source of livelihoods and food security for some one billion people worldwide. Tibet is one of the world’s most important grassland ecosystems and they are degrading, at an alarming rate. But not because of  traditional nomadic herding; Tibetan nomads  play a critical role in managing grasslands and maintaining the soil carbon.

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Wildlife Preservation

Threats to indigenous species and ecosystems in Tibet are growing, as global temperatures rise and Chinese-imposed unsustainable development make it harder for them to adapt and survive. The Tibetan Plateau is home to many iconic and endangered wildlife species, such as the Snow Leopard, Wild Yak and Tibetan Blue Bear. The Tibetan Blue Bear, also known as the Tibetan Brown Bear, Horse Bear, Himalayan Snow Bear, and Yak Dhom/Bear, is thought by some to be the source of the legendary yeti, and is classified as one of the rarest bear subspecies in the world. Living in high altitudes on the Tibetan Plateau, human […]

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