Tibetan high school students, joined by supporters of all ages marched and chanted through Dharamshala's streets on Friday as part of a globally-coordinated climate movement, in Dharamshala, India, on September 27, 2019. Photo: TPI/Yangchen Dolma

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Dharamshala —Tibetan high school students, joined by supporters of all ages walked and chanted through Dharamshala's streets on Friday as part of a globally-coordinated climate movement.

The event highlighted the environmental emergency in Tibet while showing their solidarity with over four million climate strikers who have taken to the streets all over the globe, demanding world leaders to take urgent action to the climate crisis.

From the Mcleod Gangj Bus stand to Govt. Paid Parking, near the Main Tibetan Temple, students from Tibetan Children’s Village School, Lower Dharamshala, and Mewoen Tsuglag Petoen School, have marched in solidarity with global climate change strike, on September 27, 2019, highlighting the climate urgency of Tibet. Protesters hold banners that read: “Fight for my future,” “Stop bullying the Earth”, “ The Third pole is melting”, “Tibet’s Rivers, Asian lifeline”, “We are human being, so act like one”, “Be part of solution, not part od pollution”.

The climate strike was organised by the Students for a Free Tibet-India, the Tibetan Women’s Association, the Tibetan Youth Congress, and co-ordinated by the International Tibet Network and Jhatkaa.org.

Tibetan students from classes 8, 9 and 10 of the above schools have spotlighted what a unique climate emergency Tibet is facing as it is known as the Third Pole. Like the Arctic, Amazon and the Pacific Island nations, Tibet is on the frontline of global climate change. Rapidly rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, melting glaciers and extreme weather are directly affecting Tibetans and the wildlife and ecosystems of Tibet.

Tenzin Pema, a student from Lower Tibetan Village School said that “Tibet is 3rd largest freshwater reserve on earth only after the North and South pole. It supplies two of the world’s most populated countries India and China, becoming the lifeline of almost 2.2 billion people”.

She added that “to the adults, why are you working so hard to make all this money? When you are going to use it? When the earth has no more food, or water it? You say, it is for the future, can’t you see, our time on earth is now limited, so what future are you talking about? How are you going to use it when there is nothing left to spend it on? There will be a day when everything was gone and that is approaching near then you will realize that you can’t eat that money”.

“Everyday when I walk to school I see people mindlessly throwing their waste on the side of the streets and into the streams. I even see students throwing their chips wrappers out of windows of the bus. But they were taught nothing better. And that makes me sad and angry. I feel powerless and I question how I can live, how my friends and family can live if people don't even care enough to throw their garbage in a bin” said Samdol Lhamo, a 14-year-old from Mewoen Tsuglag Petoen School.

Lhamo continued that “It is not as though we don't have the technology to stop climate change, it not as though we don't have the power. yet everyone has failed to act”.

“Let us take this as a chance to be heard We are taking to the streets to let everyone know that we care about our planet, we are doing this to show world leaders at we why not sit idle and let them trade our futures for money and power Every one of us deserve a safe future and if we don't initiative, no one will do for us”, she added.

One year ago, 16-year-old Swedish high school student Greta Thunberg skipped classes to sit outside the Swedish Parliament, alarmed by the devastating urgency of the climate crisis. This Solo act captured the attention of students and young people the world over and led the weekly Fridays For Future school strikes for the climate.

One year later, on Friday, September 20, 4 million people joined Greta Thunberg’s call for a week of Global Climate Change Strikes from 20-27 September.