Tibetan women raised awareness of environmental crisis in Tibet on the World Environment Day

Tibetan women raised awareness on environment crisis of Tibet in Dharamshala, June 5, 2023. Photo: file

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Dharamshala, India – The Central Tibetan Women's Association raised awareness of the environmental crisis in Tibet caused by Chinese tourist waste and infrastructure development by the Chinese government, as well as solutions to plastic pollution as part of the BeatPlasticPollution campaign on World Environment Day, June 5, 2023.

The Central Tibetan Women's Association (TWA) organised an awareness-raising program on the occasion of World Environment Day, in the main square of Mcleod Ganj, Dharamahala, HP, India, on June 5, 2023. Tibetan women raised awareness among Tibetans, Indian tourists and other locals about the environmental crisis in Tibet and solutions to plastic pollution as part of the BeatPlasticPollution campaign.

World Environment Day is the largest international day dedicated to the environment. Organized every year since 1973 under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it has become the world's biggest platform for raising environmental awareness. It is celebrated by millions of people around the world.

TWA has issued a statement to mark World Environment Day, and the statement says, "In an effort to provide awareness and equip the people around us for a healthier and safer place to live, the Tibetan Women's Association organises a very important event on World Environment Day by educating the general public about having the individual access and potential to replace and find alternative choices for single-use plastics and also about the worsening state of Tibet's environment at an accelerating rate."

"This year World Environment Day focuses on the theme "Beat Plastic Pollution", where pressing environmental concern is focused on combating single-use plastic materials, which are composed of major toxic pollutants that have the potential to cause great harm to the environment in the form of air, water, and land pollution. It is a reminder that people's actions on plastic pollution matter. The steps governments and businesses are taking to tackle plastic pollution are the consequence of this action," the statement explained.

"Tibet, the highest plateau in the world, faces an exceedingly high garbage crisis today due to factors like leftovers from tourists, pilgrimages, festivals, recreational activities, infrastructure developments, and domestic dumping. There is an increasing number of tourists every year, and the Chinese will welcome more tourists in Tibet in the future, which will result in more littering and plastic pollution. This pollution crisis can only be solved if there is proper governance in waste management by educating and raising awareness, facilitating the locals to properly manage the litter, and mandatorily following strict rules for tourists about littering," the statement of TWA stated.

"The world population continues to grow every single day, as does the amount of garbage that people produce. We often choose an on-the-go lifestyle that requires easily disposable products such as soda cans, water bottles, and plastic bags, ignoring the fact that these products lead to increasing amounts of plastic pollution around the world. That plastic pollution negatively impacts the natural environment and creates problems for plants, wildlife, and the human population. Plastics are made from toxic compounds that cause illnesses, and since the plastic is meant for durability, it takes 100 years to degrade in the environment," said Tsering Dolma, Vice President of TWA.

"Thus, we as individuals must learn to embrace reducing and reusing plastic, and if we can't reuse it, then we must refuse it exploring an alternative material that is friendly to our eco-system," the members of TWA said.