Protect ‘blue planet’ from global warming: Dalai Lama

Dharamsala: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Tuesday sought global intervention to protect this “blue planet” from global warming, saying if the environmental degradation persists there is no other planet where “we can move”.

“We human beings are also responsible for the change in weather conditions and global warming. Hence, this is not a question of one nation or two nations. This is a question of humanity affecting the whole world,” the Nobel Peace Laureate said in a pre-taped video.

The video is part of the campaign by the Tibetan government-in-exile, based in this northern Indian hill town, ahead of this year’s UN climate change talks in Paris that are expected to produce a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“Now, on top of these man-made problems, we have climate change and environment problem. I think, to some extent, the position of the whole galaxy is changing,” said the globetrotting elderly monk, who is revered as a spiritual leader in the Orient and the West.

“Our world is our only home. If this blue planet, due to global warming or some other sort of environmental problem, cannot sustain itself, then there is no other planet where we can move or shift,” he said.

Referring to the environmental degradation of his homeland Tibet, the Dalai Lama said: “Because of Tibet’s high altitude and dry climate, if its ecology is damaged, it takes a much longer time to recover. So therefore, environment situation in such an area is very, very delicate.”

Quoting some Chinese environmentalists, he said: “You see, they have described Tibet or the Tibetan plateau as the Third Pole, because the impact of the Tibetan plateau on global warming is as much as of the South Pole and the North Pole. So, they described Tibet as a Third Pole.”

“Over a billion people depend on these rivers which flow from Tibet through China to south Asia,” said the monk known for wearing his trademark maroon robes.

“Tibetans must have a say on what happens on their land,” Tibetan prime minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay said while launching the campaign.

He said the Tibetan nomads are the expert custodians of the alpine pastures and their knowledge and experience must be recognised.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959.