Rising temperatures on the roof of the world make Tibet both a driver and amplifier of global warming. China’s unchecked mining and dam building has to be reigned in

  • Dr Lobsang Sangay is president of the Central Tibetan Administration

As Australia continues to battle a water crisis and the challenges facing the world’s driest inhabited continent, Tibet on the other hand is Asia’s water tower, its principal rainmaker and the largest source of fresh water, feeding over a billion lives in Asia including China.

At an average elevation of 4,000 meters above sea level and with an area of 2.5m sq km, Tibet is the world’s highest and largest plateau. It’s nearly two-third the size of the European continent. If Tibet were still a sovereign nation it would be the world’s tenth largest. It has the largest concentration of the world’s tallest mountains and is called the earth’s third pole because it has the largest reservoir of glacial ice after the two poles. Tibet is also a treasure trove of minerals, oil and natural gas reserves and a leading producer of lithium in China.

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