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Dalai Lama bemoans deforestation of Tibet

November 23, 2007

November 21, 2007

TOKYO (AFP) — The Dalai Lama called Wednesday for special care to
preserve Tibet's ecosystem, saying that corruption among Chinese
bureaucrats was worsening deforestation.

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, who is on a visit to Japan, said that
as the Tibetan plateau was high in altitude and dry, "once you damage
the environment, it will take a long period to recover".

"Therefore, we need special care," the Dalai Lama said.

Because major rivers originating in Tibet feed into South Asia, "special
care of the Tibetan ecology is not only the concerns for six million
Tibetans, but also the concerns for millions of people," he said.

But some people from China "have no knowledge of ecology. They are only
concerned about industries (with) no idea of ecological consequences,"
he said.

The Chinese government has begun to impose "some restrictions on
deforestation in some parts of Tibet. However, unfortunately now in
China, sometimes restrictions can be easily ignored through pocket
money, corruption," he said.

"Some Chinese businessmen still can carry out deforestation and also
they exploit natural resources with poor care for the ecology," he said.

The comments came as China's state Xinhua news agency said climate
change was causing more weather-related disasters than ever in Tibet.

China's director of the Tibet Regional Meteorological Bureau, Song
Shanyun, was quoted as saying "natural disasters, like droughts,
landslides, snowstorms and fires are more frequent and calamitous now"
in Tibet and "the tolls are more severe and losses are bigger".
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