Participants getting ready for "Climate Run for Tibet" with high spirit, on November 17,2019, Dharamshala, India. Photo: TPI/Yangchen Dolma

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Dharamshala, India—Ahead of the COP25 climate summit which will be held in Spain for two-week from December 2, 2019, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has called upon the world leaders to recognize the global Ecological importance of Tibetan plateau and make Tibet as top of the agenda to any discussion on global climate change.

The climate run for Tibet is part of a month-long COP25 climate action for Tibet; The Earth’s Third Pole, was a campaign launched by the CTA on November 6, to bring focus to the centrality of Tibet in all discussion on climate change and its subsequent importance to the global ecology during COP25 UN climate summit in Spain.

The event “Climate Run for Tibet” joined by nearly 130 people including men and women, which started from T-building at Gangchen kyishong to Bagsunag (waterfall) to highlight the impacts of Tibet plateau to global warming. Runners called Climate action for Tibet, save Earth's Third Pole while running on the way, Some activists were holding banners reading as “Climate Run for Tibet, Climate Action for Tibet and The Earth’s Third pole”.

The event was initiated by the Environment and Development Desk (Tibet Policy Institution) of CTA and supported by Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women Association, Guchusum Movement Association of Tibet, Student for Free Tibet and International Tibet Network.

As His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has emphasized, “Climate change is not the concern of just one or two nations. It is an issue that affects all humanity and every living being on this earth”. The Tibetan people, the Chinese government and the international community can and should work together to protect the Tibetan plateau, so as to protect the lifeline of 1.5 billion people in the world, especially people living in the Indian subcontinent.

Why Tibet matters;

Sitting at an average elevation of more than 4,000 meters above sea level with an area of 2.5 million square kilometers, the Tibetan plateau is the highest and the largest plateau on the earth, hence known as the ‘Roof of the world’.

With 46,000 glaciers, the region, after South and North Pole, is home to the third-largest natural repository of ice, and the largest source of accessible freshwater on earth. Therefore, scientists call it the ‘Earth’s Third Pole’.

Asia’s six largest rivers (Drichu/Yangtze River, Machu/Yellow River, Zachu/Mekong River, Gyalmo Nguchu/Salweer River, Yarlung Tsangpo/Brahmaputra River and Senge Tsangpo/Indus River), flowing into 10 (Pakistan, India , Nepal, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, China) of the most densely populated nations and supporting the lives of 1.5 billion people. Thus it’s referred to as the ‘Water Tower of Asia’.

Due to its extremely high elevation, vast area, and extensive glacier cover, the Tibetan plateau influences the timing and intensity of both Indian monsoons as well as the East Asian Monsoon. Even the worsening heatwaves in Europe and North-East Asia are linked to thinning snow cover on the Tibetan plateau, highlighting the plateau’s key role in the global climatic system.

Unfortunately, the temperature rise on the Tibetan plateau is more than twice the global average, resulting in extensive glacier retreat and permafrost degradation. This would have disastrous consequences for the global society in general and in particular for people of Asia.