Livestock carrying bags and a man in Tibet

Tibet: Life on the Frontlines of Climate Change

Hear about the role of nomads in protecting Tibet's environment, and the importance of traditional knowledge and practices in responding to climate change.

As the earth’s ‘third pole’ and source of Asia’s major rivers, Tibet is an area of immense environmental and geostrategic importance.

For millennia, Tibet’s nomads flourished sustainably on the ‘roof of the world’. Today they are being forcibly removed from their ancestral lands. At the same time, the climate crisis is bringing dramatic changes to Tibet, with profound consequences both for Tibetans and the hundreds of millions of people who live downstream.

Tsechu Dolma is a Tibetan refugee, Columbia University graduate, and founder of the Mountain Resiliency Project – a social enterprise dedicated to building climate change resilient communities in Nepal through women’s empowerment in sustainable agribusiness. Her pioneering work led Tsechu to be recognised as one of Forbes 30 under 30 in social entrepreneurship.

Tsechu will explore how Tibet lies at the heart of many of the great development challenges of the 21st century. We will hear about how climate change is impacting Tibet, and how this affects the fresh water supply and food security of a staggering proportion of the world’s population. 

This talk promises to offer a unique insight into climate change, inclusive development, and the role of frontline communities in driving solutions.

This event was held at the University of Sydney on Monday 6 August 2018. 

The Keynote Speaker:

  • Tsechu Dolma, Founder of the Mountain Resiliency Project, a Himalayan nonprofit she co-founded. The project is bringing innovation to food, energy, and talent security as a key step in an ongoing struggle to build climate change resilience. Prior to that, Tsechu co-founded and developed women and girls economic and social empowerment for ACHA Himalayan Sisterhood in New York. She has also advised UNDP in Colombia on natural resource management and impact on indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities. 


  • Kyinzom Dhongdue, Australia Tibet Council. Kyinzom had worked with leading newspapers in New Delhi, including the Times of India and the Asian Age, before moving to Australia in 2005. Kyinzom served on the ATC Board for a year in 2008 and assumed her current role in 2010. She is also a member of the steering committee of the International Tibet Network. She was elected the first Member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, representing the Tibetan communities in Australasia and Asia (excluding India, Nepal, and Bhutan), in 2016.
  • Professor Robyn Alders, School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney. For over 20 years, she has worked closely with smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia as a veterinarian, researcher and colleague. Since 2004, Robyn has been involved with highly pathogenic avian influenza control and preparedness in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Lao PDR, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. In August 2012, she rejoined the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney to pursue domestic and international food and nutrition security research and development activities.


  • Leanne Cutcher, Head of the Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Discipline in the University of Sydney Business School.  Leanne’s research explores organizational strategy and discourse and how they impact on diversity, equity and inclusion for organizations, the people who work in them and the wider communities in which they are embedded. The not for profit sector has been the site for much of Leanne’s research.  Her research has been published widely in a range of journals including; Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, Human Relations, Organization, Work Employment and Society andGender Work and Organization.

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