Tibetan is the primary source of water for Asian Rivers. As such, it contributes to water and food security within such regions. However, with the surging climate change and population increase, scarcity of resources is bound to be a challenge. Therefore, cooperating and taking responsible measures are mandatory when it comes to survival. China has decided to build a large dam on the Tibetan River.
China shared its plan to put up the dam last year around November. The Hydroelectric power dam, which they estimate to be a 60-gigawatt mega-dam, will be constructed on the Yarlung Tsangpo river in the Tibetan region. States like Beijing are also taking part in hydropower projects in Tibetan, hoping to achieve carbon neutrality come 2060. However, their efforts have sparked criticism from inhabitants, environmentalists, and rights groups in Tibetan.
The Yarlung Tsangpo, World’s Highest River
Yarlung originates from western Tibet’s glaciers, with a height of 5000 meters above sea level. It is the highest river worldwide, as it travels across the Himalayan mountain range. The river plunges 2700 meters to form a Gorge, which is more than twice the Grand Canyon in the United States. Because of its powerful waterfall, it is conducive to collecting HEP. However, experts have predicted possible environmental and political conflicts because of it.
China’s Power Construction Corp chairman, Yan Zhiyong, stated that the primary reason for constructing the dam on River Yarlung Tsangpo is to ensure China’s green future. The mega-dam could generate as much as three times HEP, the largest dam in China is producing.
The Beauty of Tibetan
Tenzin Dolmey narrates how she grew up listening to stories about Tibetan. She can’t help but imagine the beauty the region beholds. The great rivers and mountains which form her ancestral home. Though initially from Tibetan, she has never set foot on the plateau. Tenzin lives among Tibetan exiles in India. Nevertheless, the administration she has for her homeland is exceptional.
Dolmey says that respect for nature in Tibetan is so deep-rooted. Occasionally when they went swimming, adults would caution them not to use the rivers as a bathroom. Tempa Gyaltsen Zamlha, chair of Environment and Development at Tibetan Policy Institute, states that the reverence for the natural world originated from the unique landscape of Tibetan Plateaus and dates back to centuries.
Controversies Surrounding Tibetan
Tibetan might be a haven, but regardless several issues have arisen from it. The controversies began when the China Communist Party took control of Tibet in 1950. Since then, Tibetans do not have a say on what happens on their land. Zamlha states that before the Chinese invaded their land, there were no dams in Tibetan.
And it was because they had respect for the nature of the rivers. They had a strict tradition that exempted them from going near specific streams or doing anything that would disturb it. Zamlha believes that the Chinese would anything to benefit their growth. And it is very frustrating as they do not involve the Tibetans in their decisions.
“The Chinese will do anything to benefit their growth, and this is very frustrating because Tibetans are not consulted. “