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Seminar Highlights the Importance of Tibet's Water Resources for the Indian Sub-Continent

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 2003/11/25; November 25, 2003.]

NEW DELHI, 22 November 2003 (TibetNet) - A one-day seminar on the Use of Tibet's Water Resources and Its impacts on the Indian sub-continent was held in New Delhi today. It was attended by about 90 people. Speakers include water activists, researchers, analysts and journalists. All stressed on the importance and the need to protect environment and water systems in Tibet and referred to Tibet as the water tank of Asia. It was organised jointly by the Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Center, New Delhi, and Environment and Development Desk, DIIR, Dharamsala.

A Resolution calling for the protection of Tibet's water resources was passed at the gathering. The resolution requests the countries which receive Tibet's waters to start dialogue with the Chinese Government to readdress the harmful development projects in Tibet. It also calls upon the international organizations and various civil society groups to work towards promoting the ecology of Tibet.

The renowned environmental activist, Mr. Sunderlal Bahuguna said that dams kill the rivers and urged for the protection of the river system on which millions of people depend for livelihood. Another noted water activists and a Magsayay Award winner Mr. Rajendra Singh said in his opening remark that those who understand the importance of water move forward in life. He further said that a symbiotic relationship with nature where man take less and give more to the nature is a sustainable practice.

Mr. Cluade Arpi who has done extensive research on the issue warned that the large-scale direct interventions on the Brahmaputra river inside Tibet are a security threat to India. Mr. BG Verghese, a renowned water expert expressed his doubts about the feasibility of China's reported plans to construct big hydropower plant on Brahmaputra river. However, he said that the lower riparian countries should be concerned about the activities inside Tibet.

Retired Major General Vinod Saigal who is a defence analyst said that the Government of India should plan early for any major interventions on Brahmaputra. He opined that China could be compelled by domestic demands to carry out project with disastrous consequences for India. He further said that as Tibetans are stakeholders, they should be consulted before the Chinese Government takes up any projects. Other speakers at the seminar include Mr. V. Subramanian, a water expert and Professor of Environmental Studies at JNU, New Delhi, Mr. Arun Kumar, water expert from Ghaziabad and Ms. Tsering Yangchen from the Environmental and Development Desk, Department of Information and International Relations.

A Resolution Passed on The PROTECTION OF Himalayan WATERSHED AREAS FOR A SUSTAINABLE ASIA at the Seminar On Tibet's Water

Environment and Development Desk
Department of Information & Internationals Relations
Central Tibetan Administration
Dharamsala - 176215
INDIA


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