Press Statement: Breakthrough Science Society stands with Sonam Wangchuk

The Breakthrough Science Society (BSS) expresses its solidarity with Sonam Wangchuk as he continues his
climate fast, entering its 18th day today, at Leh in Ladakh. His fast is a resolute and non-violent protest aimed at creating both public awareness and to get the government to respond to the urgent threat of climate change and other critical issues affecting the region.

Sonam Wangchuk, well known scientist, innovator, educationist, environmentalist and Magsaysay
awardee (2018), has embarked on this course of action as his native region of Ladakh, with its fragile
ecosystem, stands particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. The consequences of
rising temperatures, notably the rapid retreat of glaciers, pose imminent risks to critical water sources
essential for the region’s survival.

Beyond the immediate concerns of climate change, Wangchuk’s protest also calls for constitutional
safeguards to protect Ladakh’s distinct environment and indigenous heritage from the encroachments of
corporate interests.

The BSS recognises his protest as a wake-up call to our collective sense of responsibility to safeguard our planet. Climate change is no longer a distant prospect but an imminent threat as witnessed more and more in extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels, and escalating global temperatures. The situation calls for urgent response on the part of all stakeholders.

The BSS urges governments and policymakers to enact and strictly implement effective environmental regulations, increase investments in renewable energy sources, and carry out awareness campaign to educate people about sustainable practices needed to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

At such a critical juncture, collective action is the need of the hour. The BSS stands with him in appealing to everyone to join in raising awareness, demanding action, and unitedly resolving to confront the challenges of climate change and forge a path to a more sustainable and hopeful future. At the same time, it is important to consciously adopt environment-friendly practices in our daily lives.

More to the point, we call upon the government to engage immediately with Sonam Wangchuk and
the protestors, to listen to their legitimate demands and see that their concerns about their environment and the well-being of the Ladakhi people are genuinely addressed, and not sacrificed at the altar of so-called industrial development and investments for profits.

Dhrubajyoti Mukhopadhyay,
President, Breakthrough Science Society

Click HERE to download the pdf file of the statement