Target: Xi Jinping, President of China
Goal: Protect the Tibetan plateau to secure Asia’s water supply for the future
The Tibetan plateau is so incredibly important to Asia’s environment that it’s often called the “water tower of Asia” and the “third pole.” Although for many Tibet represents a political issue, for all in Asia it’s truly a non-partisan environmental issue. The plateau is the headwaters of the drainage basins for most of the nearby streams. It is a natural storage system for Asia’s usable water supply, but it depends upon a steady, sustainable flow.
The traditional Tibetan way of life exists in harmony with nature, both spiritually and environmentally. But since China has control over Tibetan land, politics have gotten in the way of common sense.
Over-grazing by goats and deforestation threaten the Tibetan plateau today. Human hunting in the region threatens many species of birds and mammals, including the argali and Tibetan antelope that are being slaughtered in mass quantities for their high-quality wool. Climate change is causing the plateau’s glaciers to melt rapidly, which scientists predict could lead to water shortages and dried up rivers in the future. Wetland retreat, desertification, and vanishing water supplies loom in the days ahead.
China must take responsibility for the Tibetan plateau and take measures to preserve the country and continent’s future water supply. Temperatures are rising higher and faster in China than anywhere else in the world. Now is the time to take action. Sign the below petition to urge China’s government to put its political issues aside and protect the beautiful and essential wilderness of Tibet.
Dear President Jinping,
Since the People’s Republic of China claims ownership of Tibet, you must take responsibly for Tibet’s environment. As you know, the Tibetan plateau is one of Asia’s primary water sources, and it is being threatened by hunting, deforestation, over-grazing, and climate change. Although fresh water security is a global issue, it is particularly important for Chinese communities located downstream from the plateau.
I am urging you to put your political differences aside for the sake of your peoples’ health, livelihood, and for environmental sustainability. The climate is changing, the glaciers are melting, and the region is flooding more than ever before. Not only is flooding a concern, but increased rainfall has created a severe shortage of fuel for yak herders who depend upon this land for survival. Please work with local geological experts to devise sustainable solutions for Asia’s water supply.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jochen Westermann via WikiMedia Commons