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This fundraiser ended on 03/14/11

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Lha Charitable Trust raising funds for the development and maintenance of a Tibetan environmental website

Lha Charitable Trust is a non-profit social work organization registered as a charitable trust in India. Lha has been providing much-needed social services to the exiled Tibetan community in India since 1997. Our organization is unique in the range and quality of services we offer, all of which are free of charge. These services include five different levels of English classes, two different levels of French classes, three different levels of Chinese classes, two different levels of Spanish classes, two levels of computer classes, yoga classes, health and environmental education awareness, volunteer coordination, distribution of clothes and medicines and many other activities. We also help facilitate an easy transition for the Tibetan refugee community and provide long-term rehabilitation resources.

TIBET NATURAL ENVIRONMENT CONSERVATION NETWORK

Protection of environment is a moral responsibility of each and every inhabitant of this world. It therefore goes without saying that the ecology of the Tibetan plateau, situated at the heart of Asia and often referred to as the roof of the world, should be of utmost importance. The Tibetan Plateau is the principal watershed of Asia. As many as 10 major rivers originate in Tibet. These rivers feed millions of people downstream east and south Asia. It is estimated that about 85% of Asia's population, or 47% of the world population, feeds on the rivers from Tibet.

Any disruption of the fragile ecology of the Tibetan plateau is therefore bound to have global consequences. As an indication of a chain-reaction of damage from global warming, the environmental groups warn that the accelerated glacier melting in the mountains of Tibet could choke off water sources vital for large parts of South Asian countries. One forecast warns that 80 percent of the glacial area in Tibet could disappear by 2035.

The ecology of Tibet has remained intact for centuries. From the ancient Choegyal Emperors to the institution of Dalai Lama, the rulers of Tibet have consistently passed stringent decrees on the protection of Tibet's environment and wildlife, which were observed by the general Tibetan populace. The wanton large-scale destruction of Tibet's environment began only after China occupied Tibet in 1950. Because of excessive exploitation of natural resources of Tibet, particularly indiscriminate logging of the virgin forests, extensive mining activities, damming of rivers, and dumping of nuclear waste in Tibet, the environment of Tibet is today in a crisis situation.

Furthermore, the colonial policy of transferring Chinese population into Tibet has caused a dramatic increase in Tibet's population, which in turn has been causing a major drain on the natural resources of the Tibetan plateau. One of the major consequences of this onslaught of Chinese people has been the dramatic increase in the poaching of wildlife in Tibet. As a result, many animal species of the rich Tibetan wildlife are today on the verge of extinction.

As China continues to enforce with renewed intensity its colonial policies in Tibet, the need is for a renaissance of ancient Tibetan values that treasure the environment and show compassion to the wildlife. And in order to transplant such an environmental consciousness among Tibetans in and outside Tibet, a most effective medium of mass communication, one that is not incumbent upon physical boundaries, is Internet.

With the advent of global IT boom, especially the Internet, as a medium for mass, instant transmission of information, the Tibetan Diaspora has increasingly employed Internet to their optimum benefit. Internet has greatly enhanced the ability of Tibetan people in and outside Tibet, or those sprinkled across the globe, in remaining a cohesive and organized community. In fact, the Tibetans have created a virtual community in the domain of cyberspace, where distance is never a factor for enhanced connectivity.

A Website in Tibetan

Although websites run by the Tibetans in and outside Tibet are numerous and provide a wide variety of information, an overwhelming majority of these are in English or other major world languages. Only a handful few websites are in Tibetan. Out of these, the websites managed from inside Tibet carry no more than Chinese propaganda, while the remaining few run by the Tibetan exiles are news websites. As of today, there is not even a single website that provides in Tibetan comprehensive information on issues related with environment and wildlife.

Funds are being solicited for opening and managing a website which will provide comprehensive information on the following issues:

1) The traditional Tibetan values of reverence towards environment, which is based on the Buddhist concept of interdependence, or dependent-origination theory, and of love and compassion towards wildlife.

2) The global movement for the protection of bio-diversity, including current state of global environment and endangered species, international laws on environment protection, etc.

3) Tibetan translation of important news articles on environment and wildlife.

4) English and Chinese translation of information that are originally in Tibetan and provided by the website.

5) His Holiness the Dalai Lama's speeches on the preservation of environment and wildlife, as well as the speeches and writings of various eminent leaders of all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism,

6) A detailed information about the series of mass burning of animal hides that took place across the length of Tibet last year, following His Holiness the Dalai Lama's public appeal against using or trafficking in wildlife products.

7) Major research papers on the state of Tibet's environment.

8) The website will also feature the entire content of my book based on my several years of research on Tibet's bio-diversity. The book was published in 2008 with the assistance of the Wildlife Protection Society of India and the US-based Sacharuna Foundation.
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