World Rivers Day is a global celebration of the world’s waterways, celebrates every last Sunday in September. Established in 2005, it highlights the many values of rivers and strives to increase public awareness while encouraging the improved stewardship of rivers around the world. Rivers in every country face an array of threats, and World Rivers Day promotes the active involvement of citizens to ensure the health of rivers in the years ahead.
Environment and Development Desk Officer Ms.Norzin Dolma, Ms.Tsering Choezom (General Secretary) and Ms.Jigme Lhamo (Research and communication), organized an intensive discussion and activity for TCV Suja class 12thstudents on World Rivers Day with the theme “Tibet’s Rivers, Asia’s Lifeline”. We were warmly welcomed by Mr.Karma Sherap Tharchin la and his staff.
The program started around 10am on Sunday, 25 Sep, at TCV Suja hall. The following are the topics, which we have apprised the students:
- Significance of the Third Pole and its impact on the downstream nations.
- Tibet’s Climate change and its consequences are a concern to the entire world, one that can no longer be ignored. Such a change is not an inexorable force of nature, but has, in fact known human causes and available solutions. Tibetan Plateau represents Earth’s largest store of ice and a hotspot of climate change. Due to its unique geographical location, the Tibetan Plateau faces swift changes in its weather patterns and ecosystems in more extreme ways than any other parts of the world.
- Glacial melting and Glacial Lake Floods. The rapidly melting glaciers are causing a great increase in the number of glacial lake in the Himalayan regions; resulting in Glacial Lake Outburst Floods(GLOF), particularly in Nepal, India and Bhutan. In recent years, glacial melting and permafrost have greatly destabilized hillside, resulting in large landslides.
- Construction of Mega Dams and its effect. China has been building dams on a staggering scale and at an extraordinary rate. It met its 2015 target of 290 GW a year ahead of schedule and plans to reach 430 GW (Increasing its earlier target of 380 GW) by 2020. Damming results in lost of upstream land and communities displaced. Downstream, ecosystems are profoundly altered, affecting fisheries and livelihood.
We were startled to find how students were excited and actively participated in our educational and creativity activities. The total 92 students participated in the program and we divided them into groups. In our first activity, we tried to find out what will be the students’ strategies, which they would execute if they were an “Environment Activist”.
The students constructed these overwhelmingly impressive ideas:
- Raise Tibet’s climate degradation issue in UN Environmental Summits.
- Visit Tibet and do research on Tibet’s Environment.
- Inaugurate an NGO and create an awarenesss on destruction of Tibet’s Environment.
- Invite Chinese Environmentalist and hold a panel dicussion on importance of Tibet’s Environment. Taking the opprtunity they would requewst them to save Tibet’s Environment.
In our second activity, we have given different topics to each group. It was amazing that the students’ concept was out of the box. The following are their plans:
- Slogan- “Tibet is a mother tank of Asia”.
- A peaceful dialouge with China to stop consturction of mega dams on Tibet’s Rivers.
- Organized a panel discussion integrated with TWA on Tibet’s Rivers and its effect.
- Request Barack Obama (US President) to investegate the conditions of Tibet’s Environment by sending their Reasearchers and environmentalist to Tibet.
The program intended to educate students and test their creavity. The student’s active participation and their exceptional ideas proved a success of our program. The program lasted for 3hrs and warpped up with a “Thank you” speech by TCV saff and concluded with scarf offering by TCV Principal Mr.Karma Sherap Tharchin la.