Climate Change and Environmental Degradation in Tibet: Implications for Environmental Security in South Asia

P. K. Gautam was a Consultant at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detail profile.
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • September 2010

    Both the Chinese government and the Tibetans are in agreement over the impending issues relating to the adverse impact of climate change on Tibet while the India-specific data on glacier melt is as yet inconclusive. There is, however, a difference of perception in Sino-Tibetan discourse over the capitalist model of economic development being undertaken by China which is at variance with the cultural practices of Tibetans, informed and regulated as they are with the Buddhist values of oneness with nature. Nomadism is also fundamental to the preservation of the ecology of Tibet. The Chinese policy of encouraging non-Tibetan influx of population, greater than the sustainable carrying capacity of Tibet, is enhancing the danger of an ecological meltdown. Due to ecological interconnectedness and interdependence, the article argues that Tibet, the water tower of Asia, should be preserved as a regional if not a global common for the sake of south Asian security.