Stop Destruction of Pristine Tibetan Rivers by China


Target: Chen Jining, China’s Minister of the Environment

Goal: Prevent damming of Tibet’s rivers to protect the health of ecosystems and the livelihood of local peoples.

China’s planned damming of two of Tibet’s major rivers would destroy the rich river ecosystems and impact both local people and downstream nations. A total of five dams are planned for the Salween (Nujiang) River, with one more dam planned for the Brahmaputra River, which already has one dam. Most of the waterways in mainland China already have hydropower projects, so China is now looking to Tibet, where the rivers at the edge of the plateau hold the highest hydropower potential in the world. Halt construction of these dams on Tibet’s powerful rivers.

On top of the ecological damage these dams would do, China would divert water from Tibet’s rivers, many of which cross national boundaries and span across Asia, to fuel mining, factories, and other industries, according to a recent article in the New York Times. Aside from blocking fish migration, these projects would harm ecosystems downstream that depend on the nutrient-rich silt the rivers bring for survival. Without this silt, the delta would also lose a crucial buffer against rising sea levels. On a human level, such extensive diversions would hurt downstream communities that depend on the rivers’ waters to irrigate water-intensive crops like rice and wheat.

Unfortunately, China’s leadership falls short of inspiring trust. China has denied that dam construction has been underway, only admitting to starting construction on the Brahmaputra River in 2010–after a satellite picture depicted evidence of dam construction. Another issue is that policy to regulate the construction is lacking. Only in 2014 did the United Nations set non-binding guidelines for transboundary watersharing. However, like most nations of South Asia, China is not a signatory.

Worst of all, protests by local Tibetans have been ignored or even broken up by violence. Forced to move to degraded land, they often live in poverty or have to relocate again.

Please sign the petition below and help save these river ecosystems and the Tibetan people who call them home.


Dear Minister Chen,

I am writing in regards to China’s planned construction of dams on the Salween (Nujiang) and Brahmaputra Rivers in Tibet. I recognize that these dams would bring major energy to the nation. However, going through with these plans would also deprive Tibetans of their land–Tibetans whose protests against hydropower projects have unfortunately been ignored or violently broken up. In China itself, since the 1950s, hydropower projects have forced twenty million people to migrate. Please do not inflict this same fate on Tibetans and condemn them to a life of poverty and constant displacement.

I ask you to consider investing in alternative renewable energy sources. China has made significant investments in solar and wind energy. By directing these efforts toward Tibet, the river ecosystems and the people who call them home could be saved, and both China and Tibet could then benefit. Please use your leadership to show that China’s environmental policy values human beings and our planet over profit.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Takeaway via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. China is greedy and destructive of earth and all its animals. China does not care about anything or anyone. They are killing the environment for all humanity.

    • Agreed. As to whether they are part of ‘humanity’ often needs to be revised as well…(not the kind of humane ‘humanity’ I care for, anyway!).

  2. I have been to China, I can truely say that they have no respect for each other…what to say about animals and the enviroment.
    They don’t care, most ofthem are really backwards in that regard.
    A very selfish greedy, money hungry nation.
    Its just sad that they still have the mentallity of apemen.
    I’m sure there’s caring poeple in China….but where to find them…I don’t know?
    Get with it China…you already have a BAD reputation,
    show the rest of the world, that you can actually use your brains.
    I am just so disgusted by China!

    • They use their ‘brains’ alright, but in such a twisted and destructive manner, turning the entire planet into a hell!

    • Jane Morrow says:

      Everything you say is true. It’s bad enough they got away with stealing Tibet now they’re intent on destroying it. I have zero respect for China and hope nature comes back to bite them big time (plaque, earthquakes, hurricanes etc.). Vile country! May your economic ruin come soon.

    • I hate and despise China. They are the vilest premeditated torturers of dogs, cats and all the other poor animals that are born into this evil country of hell and terror for all helpless animals
      Worldwide. Even their human rights are an absolute disgrace.

  3. China has ruined enough of this world already! Time to do some good for once.

  4. Chinese go home!

  5. Stephanie Geyser says:

    I signed – but I very much doubt that any petitions to China will achieve anything. Unfortunately, China has NO regard for human or animal or environmental rights. It just wants to rape and pillage and ravage the Earth (even wiping out other countries’ animals, etc – e.g. Africa’s elephants, rhinos, etc), because they are going through their Industrial Revolution (200 years after Europe did). And the Western world is too weak and ineffectual to take a stand against them, because we are so happy to buy the cheap rubbish products that China produces – at the expense of China’s rape of the environment.

    • Lisbeth Alvarado Sanchez says:

      Excellent comment.

    • Purtroppo trattare con i cinesi il gruppo dirigente è come ottenere sangue dalle rape.

    • Agreed. There ought to be a strong stance at international, political and economic level until they clean up their act. A cynical ear to ear grin from them (and many other countries in Asia) alleging ‘cultural differences’ simply is not good enough. Maybe provide them with some basic education also…and not just computer science only!

  6. Lisbeth Alvarado Sanchez says:

    It is appalling and disgraceful the lack of respect that many Chinese have against animals and the environment. What is the matter with this people! They are selfish and barbaric. No nation should be considered developed or to have any moral progress if they act with such disregard towards nature and its creatures.


  8. Karen Remnant says:

    China stole Tibet! Should come as no surprise it’s stealing water! It’s a bit late to demand action from China over this, nothing was done when they invaded Tibet! But then there’s nothing in Tibet that the West wants!

  9. Chris Murawski says:

    You can only blame the multinationals for all this. It was their greed to begin with.

  10. China’s invasion of Tibet needs condemnation. Such a silent, sober and decent people occupied Tibet has ben forcefully taken by China clearly shows the respect to human right and mroality. In spite of opposition by the silent (non violent) tibetans , China forcefully taken over Tibet. Even the UN or the Powerful countries are also silent on Tibet issue. It is patheteic. There is no justice, rationality in this world. China certainly deserve condemnation for that. They should know that , people of other countries are certainly not liking invasion of Tibet , which was an independent country. We want Tibet to be independant again.

  11. Manel Dias says:

    China has no respect for anyone else. It is a very selfish nation. Always it is ME ME ME and nothing else. What a Power hungry lunatics runs that country. This world will come to an end due to the Chinese greed for materialistic stuff and the destruction of the earth. More over every living breathing moving being subjected to murder or the butcher, simply to fulfill the Chinese requirements. What a backward and a miserable principles these nation follows & it is very sad.

  12. Franco Ferroni says:

    Cina paese imperialista, basta aggressioni al Tibet!!!

  13. China doesnt care about anyone or anything except themselves.

  14. Elizabeth Bona says:

    I hate China and the Chinese. Filthy, dushusting race. Ugly bastards inside and out.

  15. Elizabeth Bona says:

    Disgusting I meant. I’d Hiroshima them. Urggh! Filthy people. HEARTLESS.

  16. Maria Scholl says:

    I signed the petition, but I’m not sure who disgusts me more right now. I’m also disappointed by the laws and politics in China, there’s so much wrong with it. But it’s a shame to read comments like “I hate China, the Chinese, “filthy race”” etc. People should differ between those who harm others (no matter if it’s people or animals or whatever) and those who don’t while being born in China. This country (also including a lot of habitants, of course) can be very beautiful. China is just a coin with two sides, like *every* *single* country in this messed up world.

    • The way people vent their anger may not be to your liking but – considering there also is a side to the coin as you say – let’s have some more of that better side please!!!

  17. “The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future – deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities and the spread of disease.” — The World Watch Institute

  18. Kathleen Williams says:

    Sol: There was a world, once, you punk.
    Det. Thorn: Yes, so you keep telling me.
    Sol: I was there. I can prove it.
    Det. Thorn: I know, I know. When you were young, people were better.
    Sol: Aw, nuts. People were always rotten. But the world was beautiful. –Soylent Green (1973)
    “Internationally, those who govern are nothing more than modern-day pirates – pillaging and plundering their way across this once diverse, ecologically viable planet. By favoring special interests and big corporations, for all intents and purposes, they continue to lead us all down an irreversible path to our ultimate demise. Man’s gluttonous, insatiable appetite to consume every single resource Earth has to offer will surely end in our own extinction. For once every square inch of the air we breathe, the land we traverse and the water we drink has been contaminated, there will be no more nutrients or nourishment to be had. It’s simple reasoning.”
    (I apologize to the author for not giving him or her credit; I have no excuse. I am truly sorry.)

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