Geneva: In the side-lines of the 36th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Society for Threatened Peoples, NGO under Consultative status organized a side event registered under title: Forgotten Peoples – Environment and Water (Cases of Palestine and Tibet).
The event started with introductory remarks from the moderator Jessica Ruesch, BADIL-Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights welcoming all the participants.
After brief introduction, the moderator offered floor to Rania Madi, UN Legal Advocacy Representative, BADIL-Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights who spoke about discriminatory access and water – apartheid in the OPT.
Rania presented the case of Palestinians who were deprived of drinking water access in their homeland and suffered huge building of waste dumping yard in the coastal area of Mediterranean sea by the Israeli government.
The second speaker Ngawang Choephel, former UN Advocacy officer to the Tibet Bureau, spoke briefly about the Tibet’s environmental issues related with force eviction of nomads or settlement project of nomads into concrete house, unstandardized exploitation of minerals, deforestation and Tibet become platform for nuclear waste dumping.
He referred to the remarks of UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food’s recommendation to the Chinese authorities to withdraw the policy. At the end three-minute video on Tibet-Third Pole produced by Canada-Tibet Committee was screened.
Dr. Weiluo Wang, Chinese dissident from Germany presented the case study of Tibet’s environment focusing on Water and dams on the Tibetan Plateau. Dr. Wang spoke about that how Chinese government has built number of dams in Yarlung Tsangpo 11, Mekong 14, salween 13 and yellow river 16, Yangtse river 23 and within each river stream at a distance of 7-10 kilometers with height of 116-124 meters each dams.
The speaker has also made comparative presentation on total number of dam construction in the world, which shows China has built 25,800 dams against 8724 dams built by US.
The speaker also mentioned that the areas where these dams are located are of high sensitivity in earthquake. At the same time it was confirmed that all these dams were being constructed by the Chinese armed police force and not even a single Tibetan was employed in the construction work of these dams in Tibet, in order to avoid protest and other consequences.
The event was co-sponsored by Geneva for Human Rights and BADIL-Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights.
-Report filed by Office of Tibet, Geneva-