Tibet to disallow gold mining to save the ecosystem

a wetland in tibetan plateau 246

Tibet is set to protect its Himalayan heritage and natural splendor. The Government of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) is planning to ban the mining of gold, mercury, arsenic and peat to save its forest and natural environment.

Mining of mercury and arsenic is polluting water supplies of the Chinese occupied Himalayan region. Rampant peat mining is leading to the destruction of wetlands. Furthermore, leased gold mines are the cause of disappearance of grasslands and river sources in the Tibetan plateau. Time and again, ecologists are voicing their grave concerns against exploitation of natural resources in Tibet to help foster Chinese industries at the cost of environmental degeneration in the Himalayan region.

The Tibetan Government is also planning to protect the mineral resources along with their sustainable use following the great rush to Tibet that ensured since the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. The already fragile ecology of the region is under pressure with the flow of thousands of tourists, plastic pollution and coming up of industries based on exploitation o natural resources in the region.

Tibet has enormous mineral resources including arsenic and gold. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau with its abundant resources of water, wetlands and grasslands is nicknamed as Asia’s Water Tower. More than 34% of land area of the region is rich with 38 nature reserves.

However, in a contradictory news, the Manchester based Central China Gold Fields PLC, in its press publication has confirmed the extension of its license for mining gold in the De Ming Ding area in Tibet. And the work is scheduled to begin by late July. This is a severe jolt for environmentalists and confusion over the real intention of Government in Tibet in securing its natural environment. Even there is no clear indication when the Government is imposing the proposed ban.

The Tibetan plateau is often dubbed as the Roof of the World. Several rivers have their source in the glaciers of the region. It even affects the monsoon mechanism of South Asia and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) on the Indian subcontinent and the temperature in the region decides flow of jet stream from the Mediterranean towards Asia. Any ecological imbalance in the Tibetan plateau is sure to cause climatic disturbances in Asia and to a larger extent to the world.


Via: ENN

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