Central Tibetan Women’s Association’s Women’s Environment and Development Officer Dorji Kyi and The Tibet Policy Institute’s environment research fellow Tempa Gyaltsen are participating the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference or more popularly known as the COP20 at Lima, in Peru.
The COP20 or the Conference of the Parties organised by the UNFCCC and hosted by the Government of Peru is being held from 1 to 12 December. More than one thousand government delegates, researchers, activists and scientists from around 190 countries are participating in the conference.
TWA has been participating at the past UN Climate conferences such as COP15 in Copenhagen, Denmark; COP17 in Durban, South Africa and COP 18 in Doha, Qatar.
The two Tibetan representatives are attending the conference to raise social-environmental issues such as the impact of climate change on the Tibetan landscape, the forceful removal of Tibetan nomads, polluting and damming of Tibetan rivers, the impact of destructive mining in Tibet under Chinese rule, and the global significance of the Tibetan plateau.
The COP or the conference of parties is the biggest environmental conference organised by the UN to specifically deal with the impact of climate change and find solutions to mitigate the future impacts. The next or the COP21 would be held in Paris next year to sign some of the most important agreements.
TWA delegates representing ‘Tibet Third Pole’ for COP-18, Doha-Qatar.
Doha, 3rd December 2012:Two representatives from Dharamsala; Tenzin Choedon, the head of the Women’s Environment and Development Desk of Tibetan Women’s Association and Tenzin Norbu, the head of Environment Desk of DIIR are in Doha for a week-long campaign and participation at the United Nations 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) meeting, an undertaking of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Tibetan delegates joined along with an estimate of 17,000 delegates, 7000 NGOs and more than 1500 journalists across the world to advocate for the equitable, sustainable and durable solution to world’s growing climate change crisis and significantly to voice Climate Justice in Tibet at this important meeting.
The main campaign of this year is focused on Tibet being Asia’s water tower; networking with the downstream nations to work with them as a team to put pressure on the Chinese government to sign UN water sharing agreement and to become member of the Mekong River commission.
The campaign also includes lobbing with the delegates from other nation on Nomad Displacement and Climate Change in Tibet at large.
According to the COP18 report, there are about 7,000 civil society observers at COP18/CMP Doha, to share their views and play a part in the Conference, including an unprecedented number from Arab groups, after organizers reached out to make the Conference as inclusive as possible.
Please follow the link below for photos from the conference:
London, March 20: A new report has revealed that even today, women in disadvantaged groups in China remain the most vulnerable to violence and face the threat of it every day. These findings are in stark contrast to the stance of the Chinese government, who have been quick to boast of the progress made for women for International Women’s day earlier this month.
The report from the China Human Right Defenders group finds that those women who find themselves on the fringes of society such as petitioners and trafficked sex workers remain at the greatest risk, with almost one-third of them reporting of being first attacked as teenagers and children. In addition, 42% of women said they had experienced being in “violent surroundings”, with the length ranging from days to years.
The sex trade in China has strongly risen following the beginning of government economic reforms that first began in 1979, however it is still not legalized or regulated. This has led to female sex workers becoming increasingly exposed to attacks. The report cited frequent cases of these attacks being committed by police officers and other law-enforcement officials with women admitting such attacks involved being “beaten and kicked” and forced to “strip-dance”
Interviews conducted with these “marginalized women” further painted a frightening picture. 75% revealed they have been victims of violent attack and more than one in five reported of being sexually violated. Seven percent reported they have been victims of “other” forms of violence which includes medicalized violence such as forced abortion and sterilization – such reproduction policies have continued to be brutally enforced in Tibet, with many eyewitness accounts from Tibetan women who have escaped to exile.
Many of these female sex workers are those from rural backgrounds looking to make a living in a growing cash economy, such as women nomads (drogmo), who have traditionally lived a laborious life compared to their male counter-parts. The forced resettling of the nomads – which has occurred primarily in Tibetan regions – has forced these people to adapt to an environment alien to them; women especially are at a disadvantage, as traditionally they are given less access to education. Official illiteracy rates for rural females across China were almost three times higher for women at 16% compared to 6% of rural males; however the problem is even more severe in Tibet where more than half of all women (nomadic and non-nomadic) are illiterate with official figures at 60% (see Purging the Treasure House, TWA, 2011).
The lack of education, educational facilities and job opportunities, coupled with the forced resettlements has resulted in growing evidence of a number of women turning to the sex trade to support themselves and their families. Tibetan nomad men have in turn too suffered from these conditions, jobless and forced in cramped living conditions, many have turned to alcoholism which in turn is a common cause to the beginning of violence towards women.
Alongside other countries, China is compelled to protect women against violence as stipulated under the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Violence Against Women (CEDAW), to which Beijing is a signatory.
The suffering of not only these women, but also all Tibet nomads is unacceptable and the Chinese government must address the issue promptly and openly. This report from the China Human Rights Defenders group eliminates the shroud of lies from the government. They must allow greater transparency about these true effects of their social and economic policies upon those vulnerable in society – particularly women from marginalised ethnic minorities such as Tibetans and Uyghurs, and end the detrimental policy of forced resettlement of nomads.
Dharamsala, January 2: Tibetan Women’s Association and Tibet Third Pole have launched a petition to the Ministry of Environment Protection of The People’s Republic of China. The petition appeals to the PRC to halt the forced removal of nomads from Tibet’s pastureland since this is not a climate mitigation measure but rather a disastrous environmental policy that threatens the survival of the ten downstream countries. We also alert the Ministry of Environment of Nine Downstream Nations dependent on Tibet’s rivers (India, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal) to the urgency of this issue and beseech that immediate pressure is put upon the PRC government to cease current policies of forced and coerced displacement.
The petition was launched at the Buddhist Kalachakra teaching in Bodh Gaya this month, where TWA have a stall campaigning for nomads’ rights and showcasing TWA’s recent activities, including the November 2011 publication of a book on the critical situation currently facing Tibet’s nomads – Purging the Treaure House: displacement and the status of the Tibetan nomad.
Dharamsala, November 22: On Friday November 11 Tenzin Woebum, from the Women’s Environment and Development Desk (WEDD) of TWA joined with Tenzin Norbu, Head of Environment and Development Desk of DIIR, Central Tibetan Administration, to appear on Tibetan language channel VOT to discuss Chinese policies of nomad resettlement across Tibet.