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Reflections and References


The biodiversity of the Tibetan Plateau in its richness could be compared to the rainforest of the Amazon basin. Till date it has not received the attention it deserve due to scare information flow and restrictions imposed on travellers and scientists by China. Tibetan Plateau is the storehouse of unique flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world, especially of high altitude species.

Many rare, endemic and endangered plants and animals continues on the roller-coaster of extinction under the current China regime. The loss of these biological resources not only will lead to the extinction of certain species, but the drastic metamorphosis of the food chains and food webs of the ecosystem network in which they played vital role to build the web of life and maintain the delicate balance of the fragile ecosystem. It is therefore urgent to take concrete action not mere reaction to conserve the biodiversity of the Tibetan Plateau, by focussing on achievable results by mutually working on joint projects with Tibetan NGOs, international NGOs, and government of China.

The loss of the unique flora and fauna of the Tibetan Plateau has consequences far more profound than more widely recognized environmental dilemmas. Because the loss is irreversible- species that are lost are lost forever- the potential impact on the human condition, on the fabric of the Plateau's living system, and on the process of evolution is immense.

What geographical imaginary lines we may draw on the globe, the fact is that all people in this world irrespective of race, nationality and sex share the same blue planet. Therefore, the conservation of biodiversity of the Tibetan Plateau is no doubt, a global responsibility.

Conserving the biodiversity of the roof of the world- Tibet, will be symbol of global human strength and commitment to save other plant and animal species in peril elsewhere in the world. This will not only guarantee the long-term survival of rare and endangered wildlife of the Tibetan Plateau, but will ensure the protection of the Tibet- one of the most enchanting and sacred landscape on the earth for the benefit of our children as well.

* Mr. Tsultrim Palden Dekhang has done his Master in Environmental Studies (MES) from Yale University, USA. M.Sc (Hons.) Botany, B.Ed from Panjab University, Chandiagarh. He is the Executive Head of EDD.


Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR), 1996. Tibet: Proving Truth From Facts, DIIR Publication updated edition, 1996.

Li Bosheng, 1995. Biodiversity of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and Its Conservation, ICIMOD Discussion Paper Series No. MNR 95/3, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Agenda 21 for sustainable Agricultural Development in Tibet Autonomous Region. September 1996. Government of China.

Palbar, Tenzin 1994. The Tragedy of My Homeland. Published by Narthang Publications, Dharamsala, India. pp. 453 (in Tibetan).

Wu Sugong and Feng Zuojian, 1992. Characteristics and Utilisation and Conservation of Tibetan Biological Resources. In Proceedings of the First Workshop of the Chinese Research Society of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, 29-89. Beijing: Science Press.

Schaller, George B. 1994. The Last Panda, The University of Chicago Press, USA.

Smil, Vaclav, 1984. The Bad Earth: Environmental Degradation in China. M.E. Sharpe, Inc. Armonk, New York, USA pp.247.

Zhang Rongzu, 1989. Case Study On Mountain Environmental Management: Nyemo County, Tibet. ICIMOD Occasional paper no. 13., Kathmandu, Nepal. pp.68

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