Australia Tibet Council

Enabling everyone in Australia to be part of change in Tibet

Tibetans at the forefront of Peoples Climate March

Tuesday, 08 December 2015

Sydney March

On the eve of the UN Climate Conference in Paris, Tibetans and Tibet supporters were at the forefront of People’s Climate March in major cities across Australia from 27-29 November. Walking alongside tens of thousands of Australians in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Hobart, members of Tibetan communities and Australia Tibet Council sent a strong message on the importance of Tibet to the global environment and showed solidarity for action on climate change.

 

In all six cities, Tibetans and supporters walked at the front of the march to demonstrate that Tibet is on the frontline of global climate change. In the national capital of Canberra, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Australia Mr Lhakpa Tshoko joined the march and was among those carrying the “Frontlines of Change” banner. He said, “Tibetans and supporters across Australia successfully collaborated with hundreds of other NGOs and raised awareness of the global climate change in general and the climate crisis in Tibet”.

In Sydney Tenzin Choegyal, a young Tibetan, joined a group of Australian youths carrying the main banner throughout the march. Tenzin Choekyi, a community leader of the Tibetan Community of South Australia, and Tsewang Thupten, an activist from the Tibetan Community of Australian Capital Territory, were among the key speakers at the marches in Adelaide and Canberra respectively. Addressing the march, Tsewang Thupten rallied the entire crowd to take part in the Roof Of the World photo challenge as part of Central Tibetan Administration’s campaign on Tibetan environment. Tibetans and supporters in all the other cities also participated in this popular social media photo campaign.

Lobsang Lungtok, president of Australian Tibetan Community Association, said: “Taking part in this historic global march for action on climate change is a proud moment for Australia’s Tibetan communities. We are representing the Tibetans inside Tibet who are directly experiencing the impact of climate change, but whose voices are not heard by the outside world. In particular, we are marching for the nomads of Tibet, who have lived sustainably on the Tibetan plateau for thousands of years. But ironically they are today made the scapegoats of China’s environmental problems and are displaced from their grasslands.”

In the lead up to the UN climate summit, Australia Tibet Council released a new report Tibet – An Environmental Challenge to shine a spotlight on the global importance of Tibet. ATC’s Campaign Manager Kyinzom Dhongdue said, “As the source of Asia’s major rivers and with the largest reserve of fresh water outside the Arctic and the Antarctic, Tibet lies at the centre of the great challenges of the 21 century – from climate change to water sovereignty to food security. World leaders at the UN Climate Conference must recognise the strategic importance of Tibet to the global environment and pay closer attention to the environmental crisis unfolding on the Tibetan plateau.”