Australia Tibet Council

Enabling everyone in Australia to be part of change in Tibet

Tibet’s environment and its global impact

EnvironmentBanner2Tibet is a place of great environmental importance. The Tibetan plateau is the driver of global climate systems. Referred to as the world’s Third Pole, the glaciers of the Tibetan plateau has the world’s largest reserve of freshwater outside the Arctic and the Antarctic. These glaciers are the source of many of Asia’s major rivers. Global warming is melting these glaciers, threatening the water supply of more than 1 billion people in 11 downstream countries.

Development, resource extraction and misguided policies of the Chinese government such as the forced removal of nomads are damaging sensitive ecosystems providing little if any benefits to the Tibetans.

Our campaign on Tibetan environment will highlight the implications of changes in Tibet for the region and the wider world.


  1. In the lead up to the UN Climate Conference in Paris in December 2015, we released our report Tibet - An Environmental Challenge in the Parliament. The International Tibet Network distributed a special edition of our report among activists and leaders attending the UN climate summit in Paris.

  2. On the eve of the climate summit, we joined Australia’s Tibetan communities at the People’s Climate March rallies across Australia to show that Tibet is at the global forefront of climate change.

  3. In March 2015, our Tibet Advocacy Day team sent a strong message to Australia’s political leaders that Tibetan environment has global impact and the Australian government and parliament cannot afford to ignore Tibet. 

So what’s next?  We'll be organising awareness-raising activities to build new alliances with experts and leaders in the environment movement and engaging the broader Australian community on why Tibet matters in today’s world.

In April, we hosted an informative panel discussion - Tibet, Roof of the world: Climate change, human rights, and our common future - at the Festival of Tibet.

And throughout 2016, by sharing this compelling story of Tibet’s enormous environmental significance, we’ll take the Tibet issue to new audiences and build support for an urgent and peaceful resolution. And for those who already care deeply about Tibet, open a new window on this beautiful part of the planet.

mp melissa parkeMelissa Parke MP (Member for Fremantle)

Last Tuesday the Australia-Tibet Council released their report, Tibet— An Environmental Challenge, at Parliament House. The report highlights the cultural, environmental and geostrategic significance of Tibet to Asia as a whole, and it makes the case that if the international community is interested in acting on climate change and if it is concerned about food and water security then it is in every country's interest to see a peaceful resolution of the Tibetan situation.


Yesterday in front of an audience of our political leaders in Canberra, we presented the details of our new report Tibet - An Environmental Challenge. Although many were familiar with the ongoing human rights abuses in Tibet, we were able to open their eyes to the wider implications of China's occupation of Tibet.