Tibetan Ecology Foundation says "Quit Coral"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Tibetan Ecology Foundation has called on Tibetans to stop the use of coral. This is interesting because coral had somehow failed to get the attention of Tibetans stopping the use of endangered species products in the past.

The Tibetan Ecology Foundation has sent an e-mail about this yesterday, which is copied below for readers of the Tibetan Plateau blog. The text is in Tibetan. It emphasizes the importance of coral reef ecosystem for fish and other aquatic life forms, and mentions that scientists expect that half of world's coral reef to disappear by the year 2030. As users of coral, the Tibetan people, the message continues, can play a role in the protection of the world's coral reefs.

The message also includes some suggestions for what to do with the coral people currently possess. The 'Quit Coral' campaign asks people to sell their coral and to use the money for purposes such as investing in children's education and local hospitals, or for constructing bathrooms!





Malcolm Smith said...

People should donate their coral to hospitals so that it may be made into medicine.

The Tibetan Plateau Blog said...

That's right. Thanks for visiting.


Great work and great awareness being shown by the Tibetans. Coral reefs are indeed the nurseries of life on this planet and if they die, the oceans die and then we all will follow in this trail of destruction.

I am really impressed by this commitment.

Please continue the good work.

with best wishes


Dan said...

I don't think coral itself is all that endangered, although people shouldn't be breaking it indiscriminately. The real danger to coral reefs is from pollution. I hope people will continue to decorate themselves with this traditional colorful natural substance, personally. Those who like to wear it may actually care more about the destruction of the ocean where it grows. That's what I think. If there's going to be a crusade it ought to be against the big-money industrial polluters. Or a general positive crusade in favor of keeping the waters of the earth pristine for the benefit of us creatures who depend on it.

The Tibetan Plateau Blog said...

Dear Dr. Mohan Doshi: Thank you for visiting and your kind words. All credit goes to the Tibetan Ecology Foundation.

Dear Dan: I agree with the point about pollution, however I think the group is mainly interested in educating the Tibetans. Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

This is Gyatso from Tibetan Ecology Foundation. Thank you those who support "Quit Coral". If anyone have questions please let me know info@tibetanecology.org

Anonymous said...

Il faut faire appel au Dalai Lama pour régler le conflit palestinien. Le Dalai lama est la personne idéale pour donner son avis sur le statut de réfugiés palestiniens. Ainsi, les Palestiniens auront aux yeux des occidentaux le même que celui des Tibétains. On lui posera d 'autres questions: est il moral de bombarder Gaza? Le Tibet doit il avoir le même traitement que Gaza de la part des Chinois? Il pourra aussi se prononcer sur les frappes chirurgicales sur l' Irak et l' Afghanistan. Après tout, s' il veut se présenter comme n' importe quel dirigeant responsable et chef spirituel , il doit le faire. D' autant plus que le Thangka de Kalachakra est témoin du contact pacifique entre le monde Tibétains et le, monde musulman. C' est aussi une bonne occasion d' entente entre les religions les scientifique: Bouddhisme et Islam.

Ind said...

Brahmaputra dries up in Arunachal Pradesh, China hand suspected..


come & join us for the cause of Tibettt!!

May the blessing of Buddha shower on Tibet & its people..

Geoff said...

Setting aside the issue of coral itself, wether it is sustainable and so on, it is interesting to think about the ethics of ornaments more broadly. I was recently re-reading the Dalai Lama's comments on wearing the pelts of endangered animals, and what struck me was that he rarely invoked the ecological impact of these pelts. That is, he wasn't saying, 'don't do this because there are very few leopards left'. Instead, he was making a broader critique of wearing useless (i.e.: non-functional) clothes and jewelry. Such things should be abandoned, he argues, as they serve no purpose and are wasteful, regardless of the environmental impact of specific items.

It's an interesting argument, and I'm kind of sympathetic, having often wondered what else the money spent on gigantic gold rings could be spent on. Then again, who am I to speak.... I just bought an iPhone (status symbol or tool?), and could, presumably, have donated that money somewhere else.

Spiti Valley Blog said...

Dear Geoff,

Yes, and if you listen to the Dalai Lama's main talk about the use of animal pelts at the Amravati Kalachakra, you will find that he mainly used Tibetan national identity and lama-disciple connections to persuade the listeners to quit using these products.

Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

I am all for mitigating or saving the destruction of coral reefs, but as someone posted earlier, the cause of the coral reef crises is something far beyond Tibetans wearing coral jewelry. Asking Tibetans to get rid of one of the iconic elements of their culture to save coral reefs is like asking Australians to stop barbecuing to solve the world's pollution problem. Where will this stop? And stop making Tibetans feel responsible for the melting of the glaciers also. The cause of that is global warming generally, and China's industrial scale abuse of Tibet's environment in particular. Will Tibetans be asked next to stop burning incense to solve the world's asthma problem next? It's important to be environmentally aware, but naive to think that Tibetan love of coral is somehow related to the world's reef problem, and politically shortsighted to pursue such a self destructive path. I know you guys mean well, but you are not seeing the forest because you are focused on a leaf.
I hope the moderator will post this comment as I'm a Tibetan and I feel that a dissenting Tibetan has a place on a forum like this. Thanks.

Spiti Valley Blog said...

Thanks Anonymous. Your comments are welcome and will be forwarded to the Tibetan Ecology Foundation. I'd imagine that they are aware of the things you and Dan have raised, and I understand your sentiments towards coral as an iconic element of Tibetan culture.

Thanks again for visiting and your comment.

Anonymous said...

This is Gyatso. Comment for Anonymous March 23, 2012 7:24 AM

I agree that coral reef crises is something far beyond Tibetans wearing coral jewelry, but it’s seems you agree Tibetans are part of the problem. I believe one factory and one car is not the only cause for the global warming but it is a part of cause.

Coral may be an iconic element of Tibetan Culture, maybe not, it is a debatable.
You may say wildlife animal skins decorated Tibetan dress is a Tibetan iconic element. But Tibetan people did not want that.

Of course Tibet’s environment is abused but you and I driving a gasoline car also help causing global warming and glacier melting in Tibet. Even the computer you are using right now is part of the cause of global warming. We all are guilty. I am not making a statement that Tibetans are the cause of global warming or not. But I am encouraging Tibetan people, as individuals, what we can do to help the planet and help our individual families.

Coral has been in Tibetan culture for centuries. But after Tibetan quit wildlife skin, coral jewelry is becoming competition and status; even they don’t have income to send your child to college in Tibet.
Once someone gets married in the family, almost of all income of the year has to spend on coral jewelry. Many other families have to borrow money to buy coral jewelry.

There many situations, if one child gets married and the other child have to drop school because of finical situation. I hope you are aware of some of these satiation in Tibet.

Recently I went to Tibet and I saw so much of coral jewelries at the market owned by Chinese Muslims. Only Tibetans will buy and wear it for show-off. It will not help their education. It will not help their health issues. Also it will not help economy of Tibetan people. Only hurts individual Tibetan family financial.

I don’t think we should show-off coral jewelry. I don’t’ think is a smart.

In case of incense example; in some cases the incenses will cause illness but sometimes will help to heal illness. Every satiation is different in every circumstance. I am not mixing everything together.

If Tibetans quit coral, it will help the planet and help for individual Tibetan family by financially. I hope Tibetans will quite coral send child to school.

Anonymous said...

Selling coral and spending the money to send a child to school may be a good idea but it has absolutely nothing to do with the thesis of this article, which was that Tibetans should quit the use of coral to save the world's coral reef.