Report busts China’s myth on protecting Tibet

Jun 13, 2019

In a pioneering report launched today, Australia Tibet Council warns global environmental and conservation organisations, development agencies, national parliaments and governments to refrain from welcoming China’s new national parks system in Tibet until long-term impacts are understood and adequate measures are taken to protect the rights of Tibetan nomads.

In 2020, China will unveil a new system of national parks in Tibet, which will accelerate the forced displacement of Tibetan nomads from their land.

The report An Iron Fist in a Green Glove: Emptying pastoral Tibet with China’s national parks challenges China’s argument that Tibet’s nomads must leave their ancestral land in the name of science and development. It looks at how Tibetan nomads have lived sustainably on the Tibetan Plateau, the existential threat they face and why they must be understood as vital protectors of Tibet’s grasslands.

Kyinzom Dhongdue, Executive Officer of Australia Tibet Council, said: “China’s plans if left unchallenged will mean the almost total demise of nomadic pastoralism in Tibet. An end to a way of life that had enabled Tibetans to live successfully on the cold Tibetan plateau for centuries.”

“Today, as the world including China grapples with the intertwined challenges of climate change, food and water security, inequality and biodiversity loss, the knowledge and practices of Tibetan nomads are more applicable now than ever. However, this is not how China sees it.”

This report comes in the wake of the landmark report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services about how our natural world is declining at an unprecedented rate and that we should draw on indigenous and local knowledge to address the environmental crisis of the 21st century.

Australia Tibet Council calls for the protection of Tibetans to determine their future and a new respect for the traditional wisdom and practices of Tibet’s nomads.

Read full report.

Media contact:

Kyinzom Dhongdue                    0416 695 590
Executive Officer          
Australia Tibet Council