UN asks China to reassess policies on Tibet, Inner Mongolia

DHARAMSALA: The United Nations has urged China to reconsider its policies in Tibet and inner Mongolia. Following his recent official visit to China, the UN special rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, has asked the Chinese government to reassess its policies which are displacing people in Tibet and Inner Mongolia.

The Special Rapporteur noted that the Chinese government enforced "measures such as grazing bans, grazing land non-use periods, rotational grazing and accommodation of carrying capacity, limitations on pastures distribution, compulsory fencing and slaughter of animal livestock" which have left "the nomads with no other option than to sell their herd and resettle."

"While there is little doubt about the extent of the land degradation problem," the special rapporteur noted in his report, that herders should not, as a result of the measures adopted under the tuimu huancao policy ("removing animals to grow grass") be put in a situation where they have no other options than to sell their herd and resettle.

The report noted that China had ratified the UN's 'International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights' that prohibits depriving any people from its means of subsistence, and the 1992 Convention on Biodiversity which acknowledges the importance of indigenous communities as guarantors and protectors of biodiversity.

The environment and development desk of the central Tibetan administration's department of information and international relations at Dharamsala, which monitors the issue of nomads in Tibet, said the UN report shows that Chinese government policies for Tibetan nomads are unsuccessful.

The UN special rapporteur has underscored the need to involve the herding community in the decision and policy making process, and to put into place livestock insurance programmes," Tenzin Norbu, executive head of the environment and development desk.

Source:timesofindia.indiatimes.com (Times of India, online news portal)

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