Despite Tibetan protests, China has built and begun to operate Tibet’s first major hydroelectric plant at the sacred Tibetan lake of Yamdrok Tso. Yamdrok Tso, located southwest of Lhasa, is the largest freshwater lake in Tibet. This project is opposed by Tibetans on both environmental and religious grounds. It is one of the most beautiful scenic areas in Tibet and one of the country’s four most sacred lakes. The plant will drain water from the lake to produce electricity and another plant is being built to pump river water back into the lake to replenish it. This project will have serious consequences for a very delicate ecosystem. If sufficient water is not returned to the lake, part of the lake’s bed will fall dry, which will affect wildlife in the area. If river water is pumped into the lake, this will likely have a massive ecological impact.
How You Can Help
In 1996, ICLT helped to negotiate and draft the first resolution concerning Tibet’s environment ever adopted by an international body. The resolution, passed at a meeting of The World Conservation Union (known as “IUCN”), called upon China to address Tibetan concerns about Yamdrok Tso. Please write a letter to Ms. Yolanda Kakabadse at IUCN, expressing you concern about the hydroelectric plant at Yamdrok Tso, asking what IUCN is doing to address these concerns, and asking them to report on progress on the resolution.
Letters should be addressed to:
President, Regional Support Group
Rue Mauverney 28
CH 1196, Gland
For More Information: Organizations Devoted to Tibet; Travel Resources: Guide Books & Internet Sites for Tibet