Raised in Vancouver and Toronto, Severn Cullis-Suzuki has
been camping and hiking all her life. When she was 9 she started
the Environmental Children's Organization (ECO), a small group
of children committed to learning and teaching other kids
about environmental issues. They were successful in many projects
before 1992, when they raised enough money to go to the UN's
Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Their aim was to reminding
the decision-makers of who their actions or inactions would
ultimately affect. The goal was reached when 12 yr old Severn
closed a Plenary Session with a powerful speech that received
a standing ovation.
Since Rio, Severn has given many speeches to schools and corporations,
conferences and international meetings worldwide. In 1993
she received UNEP's Global 500 Award in Beijing, China.
An accomplished television host and presenter, Severn has
appeared and participated in many programs in Canada, the
U.S., and Britain. Most recently she was the host of Suzuki's
NatureQuest, a children's television series currently airing
around the world. She has written numerous articles on environmental
issues for magazines and newspapers, and has also published
a book with Doubleday called Tell the World.
From 1997 to 2001 Severn served as a Commissioner for the
UN's Earth Charter, a document that strives to serve as a
code of ethics for human conduct towards our resources, our
planet, and each other. She is also an active participate
in the preparations for the Johannesburg World Summit to be
held in 2002, the ten year anniversary of Rio '92.
Severn has worked closely with native peoples of British
Columbia and the Amazon towards protecting forests threatened
by unsustainable logging. She has been honoured by three aboriginal
nations in B.C.: she was adopted into the Haida Nation, and
the Heiltsuk Nation, and has a name from the Nuchalnulth people.
Sev's love of the outdoors feeds her passion to speak about
the future of our environment. Last summer, she and five girlfriends
celebrated the millennium by cycling across Canada in a campaign
for clean air called "Powershift 2000." This summer
she worked for two months at the remote Pinkeiti Research
Station in the Xingu valley of the Brazilian Amazon, furthering
her academic pursuits in biology. Severn is currently a senior
at Yale University in New Haven, CT, studying Ecology and
1991 Age 11
March 91 Panelist, Environmental Youth Alliance International Conference,
Kitsilano Secondary School, Vancouver, B.C.
Fall 91 Speech and Slide Show, Kitsilano Secondary School, Vancouver,
Fall 91 Speech and Slide Show, 3 shows, Britannia Secondary School,
1992 Age 12
March 92 "An Evening with the Environmental Children's Organization".
Speech and Slide Show on the Amazon. Planetarium, Vancouver, B.C.
June 92 Severn started E.C.O., The Environmental Children's Organisation,
in 1989. In 1991 and 1992 E.C.O. raised enough money to send five
children and three adults to The Earth Summit in Rio, Brazil to
be a "conscience" of the proceedings. They had a booth
at the Global Forum and talked to hundreds of people and gave dozens
of interviews. They gave speeches at:
The Open Speaker's Forum at The Global Forum;
Children's Day, Earth Parliament;
Education and Ethics Panel, Earth Summit;
Closing Plenary Speech, June 9, Earth Summit.
June 92 Speech and slideshow: Tennyson Elementary School, Vancouver,
Aug 92 Keynote Speech: The World Peace Prayer Society, Amenia, New
Fall 92 Speech and slideshow: Tennyson Elementary School, Vancouver,
Nov 92 Speech and slideshow: Worldwide Homemakers' Environmental
Network, West Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 92 Speech and Co-facilitating of daylong workshop - "UNCED
Revisited": The Global Education Project, Nanaimo, B.C.
1993 Age 13
Feb 93 Keynote Speech and slideshow - Environmental Youth Alliance
International Conference, Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 93 Participant: Media Section: Global Forum of Spiritual and
Parliamentary Leaders, Okayama, Japan
Apr 93 Closing Speech - The Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary
(A gathering of world leaders including Gorbachev). Kyoto, Japan.
May 93 Speech: Milk International Children's Festival. Harbourfront,
June 93 Speech and acceptance of The Global 500 Award, The United
Nations Environmental Program. Beijing, China.
Aug 93 Keynote Speech: Canadian Peace Alliance/L'alliance canadienne
pour la paix (Toronto). Lake Couchiching, Ontario.
Aug 93 Speech: Roots 20th Anniversary Benefit Gala. Toronto, Ontario.
Sept 93 Speech: Y.W.C.A., Calgary, Alberta. (Sent and read aloud
Oct 93 Speech - Ontario Science Centre. Toronto, Ontario.
Oct 93 Speech: Conference: "Building Sustainable Communities":
Ecommunity Environmental Forum, Mall of the Americas, Minneapolis,
Oct 93 Speech: Vancouver Writers' Festival. With Wade Davis. Vancouver,
Oct 93 Speech - accepting the United Nations Association's John
Gibbard Award. Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 93 Speech: An Evening for Clayoquot Sound. The Sierra Club,
Nov 93 Speech: Kitsilano Community Centre. Banyen Books, Vancouver,
1994 Age 14
March 94 Host and Participant - Meeting of Young Environmental Activists
from the Kansai Region. Osaka, Japan.
Aug 94 Speech and Slide Show. Heron Rocks Society. Hornby Island,
Aug 94 Speech aboard the Russian ship Alla Tarasova, for Adventure
Sept 94 Speech: International Institute for Peace Through Tourism
Convention. Montreal, Quebec.
Oct 94 Speech: Partners in our Future: Business, The Environment,
and Students. Burlington, Ontario.
1995 Age 15
May 95 Speech: "Letters": Author Series; Opening of the
Vancouver Public Library. With Wade Davis and Birute Galdikas.
1996 Age 16
April 96 Speech: Student Assembly, New Westminster Secondary School.
New Westminster, B.C.
April 96 Speech: Earth Day. Sponsored by Vancouver City Savings
Union. Vancouver, B.C.
July 96 Speech: Sharing The Spirit Conference. Comox, B.C.
Aug 96 Speech: Kuching Conference: Sarawak, Malaysia. (Sent and
read aloud to participants.)
1997 Age 17
Feb 97 Speech: Youth Conference, Collingwood School. West Vancouver,
Dec 7-11, 97 Attended Kyoto Climate Change Meetings, UNFCCC COP3,
Dec 9 97 Speech: meeting with Network Earth Village, Kyoto, Japan.
Dec 97 Speech: Rally by The Bicycle People: Parade for Car-Free
Streets; Vancouver, B.C.
1998 Age 18
Sept 98 Speech: 1998 Mother-Daughter Luncheon, Bishop Strachan School,
2001 Age 21
March 01 Sao Paulo: keynote address to Amana Key's business conference
entitled The Art
of Making Things Happen
Nov. 29th '01 Toronto: Speeches at the Blueprint: Designing for
Survival student conference,
Ursula Franklin highschool
Speech to students: Sustaining a Positive Vision of the Future
Speech to teachers: What I learned on My Summer Vacation: two months
in the Amazon
|| 1992 "Kids and the Environment",
article in Environmental Youth Alliance Newspaper, Vancouver, B.C.
1992 Numerous articles, Environmental Children's Organization Newspaper;
Vols. 1, 2, and 3; layout and publishing assistance from The Environmental
Youth Alliance, Vancouver.
1992/93 Columns for the magazine The Monitor:
"ECO" - September 1992
"What We Can Do" - November 1992
"Galapagos" - February 1993
"Amazon" - 1993
"Antarctica" - 1993
1993 Book: Tell the World, Toronto, Doubleday, 1993.
1994 "What is it That You're Waiting For" and other articles
on environmental issues for the Patagonia Catalogue, Spring 1994 edition.
Feb 94 "I'm only a Child, but..."; Article for Our Planet,
magazine of the United Nations Environment Program; Special Issue:
The Family & The Environment; Geoffrey Lean, editor of publications.
June 94 Interview published as a chapter in She Should Talk: Conversations
with Exceptional Young Women about Life, Dreams & Success. Erica
Ehm. Toronto, Harper Collins, 1994.
Sept 96 "The Voice of Youth"; inaugural article of the youth
column, Ecolutions Environmental Magazine; Fall 1996 edition; Paul
1992 - 1996 Publication of the speech to the Earth Summit (Rio) in
numerous publications, e.g.:
-The Earth Summit: A Planetary Reckoning. by Adam Rogers. Global View
Press: Los Angeles, 1993.
-Whole Life Times, Annual Children's Issue, October 1993; Malibu,
-Earth Ethics: Evolving Values for an Earth Community, Centre for
Respect of Life and Environment, Washington, D.C., Winter 1993 issue.
-Environmental Youth Alliance (Australia) Newspaper January 1993.
-International Business Communications: Promoting World Trade. North
York, Ontario. September/October 1992 issue.
-Page Journal, B.C. Teachers for Peace and Global Education, February
-Share International, Vol.12, No.2 - March 1993; Amsterdam.
-The World Affairs Canada Quarterly, Toronto: Volume 1, No. 3; Fall
-To Be Y, edicao especial aniversario, No. 13. Yazigi International,
-World Goodwill Newsletter, September 1992. London, Geneva, New York
-Frontispiece, Final Report of the Great Lakes Educators Advisory
Council to the International Joint Commission. International Joint
Commission, September 1993 (Excerpts).
-Quarterly Report, South Twin Lake Conservation Society, Wausau, Wisconsin,
-Article on Primary Children's Education, Geography (journal), University
of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, 1997.
-many others, as permission is constantly being given to republish
1993-96 Publication of the Kyoto Speech in numerous publications,
Hinduism Today, Volume 15, Number 7; July 1993. Concord, California.
Spring 97 "Tell the World", article for Future Now magazine.
Book: Friendship That Spanned 5000 Years. Stoddart Publishing, Toronto,
AUDIO, & CD-ROM WORK
are Born"; "Sound"; "Taste"; "Collecting
in a Swamp": various items for Sesame Street television programs;
Cathy Chilco, Producer.
1990 "Tidal Pools", Nature Connection Series, CBC Television,
Porpoise Bay Productions, Toronto, Ontario.
June 92 Subject of UNCED Television Reports from Rio de Janeiro,
CBC Newsworld, David Halton; Eve Savory; CBC Toronto.
Jan 93 Participant in TV program "The Earth Summit: What Now?"
Knowledge Network, Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 93 Participant, "What in the World is Going On?" CD-ROM
interactive environmental diskette, Pixel Productions, Toronto,
May 93 "Morningside", Peter Gzowski, CBC National Radio,
June 93 "Gabereau", Vicky Gabereau, CBC National Radio,
June 93 "Midday", CBC National Radio, Toronto.
June 93 "Growing Up", Television Documentary on the Rio
Conference, TVE (Television Trust for the Environment), Central
Television, & UNICEF Coproduction, London, United Kingdom.
Oct 93 "Canada A.M.", CTV (Television)
Oct 93 Host and Writer,"Stand Up", student television
pilot for youth, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Vancouver,
Jan 94 Presenter, "Earthfile", WTN Television, United
Kingdom, Nigel Swettenham, Producer.
June 94 Host: Open Space - Four Colours Green, BBC TV, London, United
Kingdom; Gerry Pomeroy, Producer.
Sept 94 Narrator: "First Peoples", Bananaphone, C.D. by
children's singer Raffi, Troubadour Records, Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 1 95 Participant, "Discover", Inaugural Program of
the Discovery Channel, Television (Canada).
Jan 95 Contributor, "True North Arrivals", CD ROM, Southam
Inc., Toronto, Ontario; Brian Porter, Producer; multimedia resource
in Ontario schools.
March 95 Host, "U-Turn", 22 minute television program
on consumption for students, Suzanne Tabata, producer, Tabata Production
Associates, Vancouver, B.C.
April 95 Participant: "Femmes/Women", Les Productions
Point de Mire (Television), Rina Fraticelli Producer, Montreal,
1995 Interview, National Public Radio (U.S.)
Nov 95 Subject of half-hour television program: "Severn Cullis-Suzuki",
People Link Series, Rogers Cable Systems, Patricia Cottingham &
Barbara Anderson Producers, Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 96 Host, "It's Eco-Logic", Lighthouse Productions
Mar 97 - July 99: Host: "Suzuki's NatureQuest", 26-part
Television Series, Wendy Loten, Producer; Porpoise Bay Productions
Inc. in association with Kaleidoscope Entertainment Inc., Toronto,
Mar 98 Panelist on Program on Climate Change aired on On The Edge:
Robert Mason Lee, Vancouver TV.
||Sept 90 The Environmental Children's
Organization: E.C.O., later E.C.O.
||Director: FarmFolk, CityFolk Vancouver,
Director: Swim For Life Foundation, Vancouver, B.C.
Advisory Board Member: YIPPEE (Earth Camp) International, California,
Judge: Y.W.C.A. 1996 Women of Distinction Awards, Vancouver, B.C.
Sponsor: Environmental Youth Alliance, Australia.
Commissioner: UN's Earth Charter Commission, 1997-2001
Panelist: UN Secretary General's Panel for advising on the World Summit
||Sept 01-June 02 Currently a Senior
in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University.
Summer 2001 Researcher at Pinkaiti Amazon Research Station, Para,
Summer 2000 Power Shift 2000: with 5 other young women, powered a
cycling trip across Canada in a campaign for Clean Air.
|AWARDS and HONOURS
AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS:
June 92 Certificate of Apreciation in Recognition of Outstanding
Contribution to the Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Right
Honourable Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada.
June 93 The Global 500 Environment Award. United Nations Environmental
Program (UNEP), Nairobi; awarded in Beijing, China.
April 95 Tommy Brayshaw Junior Conservation Award. North Pacific
International Chapter, American Fisheries Society.
Oct 96 Adopted into The Raven and Wolf Clan of Tanu; the Haida Nation,
Skidegate, Haida Gwaii; by Chief Chee Xial, Miles Richardson Sr.,
at traditional ceremonial potlatch. Haida name: Killthgula Gaayaa
Feb 97 Appointed member of the Earth Charter Commission by Mikhail
Gorbachev and Maurice Strong. Delegate, Rio+5 Forum, Rio de Janeiro,
March 13-19, 1997.
Nov 97 Named by the Hesquiat Tribe of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation
of the west coast of Vancouver Island; by Chief Klah-Kisht-Ke-iss,
Simon Lucas, at traditional ceremony. Nuu-chah-nulth name: Mah-Nulth-Ath-Luk
(She Who Looks Out for the World).
May 98 Adopted into the Housty Clan of the Heiltsuk Nation at Waglisla,
Bella Bella; by Chief Naci, Gary Housty, at ceremonial potlatch.
March 00 Follow up on benchmark draft of Earth Charter,
June 01 Europe and North American Rountable conference in preparation
for the Johannesburg Summit in Vail, Colorado
Oct 01 Johannesburg preparations with Kofi Anan and Eminent Persons
B: CANADIAN AWARDS
1989 First Prize: St. Roch Art Contest/Concourse artistique. Maritime
March 91 Selected for In the Mood for Mystery: Young Writers' Conference.
Vancouver School Board.
May 91 Certificate of Appreciation, Turn on the Lights Project.
For artwork: contribution to the beautification of Downtown Vancouver.
Business Improvement Association.
Oct. 92 The VanCity Youth Environmental Service Award. Vancouver
City Savings Credit Union.
92 - 96 Apprenticeship with renowned Haida artist Bill Reid.
Oct 93 John Gibbard Youth Award. B.C. United Nations Association.
April 94 Leader of Tomorrow Award. Volunteer Vancouver.
1994 Finalist: YTV Achievement Award honouring Canadian youth and
Jan 95 Official Selection: 1995 Ontario Silver Birch Book Award.
Ontario Library Association. For her book Tell The World.
May 96 Y.W.C.A. "Women of Distinction" Awards, Vancouver,
C: SCHOLASTIC AWARDS
June 93 Honour Roll. Kitsilano Secondary School.
June 94 Principal's List (A average). Kitsilano Secondary School.
June 94 Passport to Education Scholarship: $125
1994 Canadian Mathematics Competition (Pascal): Certificate of Distinction.
University of Waterloo Faculty of Mathematics.
June 95 Principal's List (A average). Prince of Wales Secondary
June 95 Passport to Education Scholarship: $175
June 96 Honour Roll. Kitsilano Secondary School.
June 96 Passport to Education Scholarship: $225
June 96 Principal's List (Over 85% average). Kitsilano Secondary
School: "A recognition of exceptional performance in both academic
and non-academic studies."
Dec 96 Canadian Merit Scholarship Provincial Award. "The top
three per-cent in Canada's largest independent open awards competition."
Feb 97 Canada Trust Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Community
Leadership & Scholarship: $500.
June 97 AP (Advanced Placement) in four subjects: English, Calculus,
French Language, and French Literature.
June 97 Passport to Education Scholarship: $275 (Four-year total
June 97 Provincial Scholarship Award for Excellence: $1000
March 97 Accepted at Yale University, Princeton University, and
April 01 Presented with the Thoreau fellowship $3500 US.
D: SPORTS AWARDS
Starting Lineup, High School Basketball Team, annually from Grade
7 through Senior Year in Secondary School. City Championship for
final three years Grades 10, 11 and 12. Grade 12: School Provincially
Ranked for the first time in 40 years (8th of 400 schools in Province).
March 94 Named to the city-wide Vancouver All-Stars Basketball Team.
Aug 94 Bronze Sail IV Certificate. Kitsilano Yacht Club.
March 95 1995 Vancouver District Junior Basketball Championship.
Prince of Wales Secondary School.
April 95 Named to the city-wide Vancouver Junior Basketball Team.
May 95 District Cup, Under 17, Silver Division, Point Grey Soccer.
Dec 95 Santana Horsman Chevron Christmas Classic Basketball Tournament,
March 96 1996 Vancouver District Senior Basketball Championship.
Kitsilano Secondary School.
Dec 96 Santana Horsman Chevron Christmas Classic Basketball Tournament,
Feb 97 1997 Vancouver District Senior Basketball Championship. Kitsilano
Feb 97 Award: Best Defensive Player of the Tournament, 1997 Vancouver
City Senior Basketball Championships.
Mar 97 8th Place. 1997 British Columbia Provincial AAA Senior Girls
Basketball Championship Tournament.
Whitewater Rafting (Leader in Training)
Whitewater and Ocean Canoeing
Backpacking (including Winter Camping)
Good fisherman! (Freshwater and Ocean).
"Your daughter was the real
star of the Conference and when I move back to Canada I hope I will
have a chance to see both of you and discuss the immense job that
now faces us all in following up on Rio." - Maurice Strong,
Secretary-General of the Rio Earth Summit of June 1992; July 2,
"That was the best speech at Rio." Senator Al Gore, June
"A Small Voice Carrying a Large Burden: While speaking at
the Indigneous People's Earth Parliament, 12-year-old Canadian activist
Severn Suzuki held the audience in awe with her eloquent and articulate
description of the planet's ailments. Among those in attendance
was UNICEF director James P. Grant, who told Suzuki that he was
going to give a transcript of her speech to Canadian Prime Minister
Brian Mulroney when he arrived in Rio to sign the documents. Grant
did more than that: he brought Suzuki to the attention of UNCED
Secretary-General Maurice Strong, telling him that the young lady
had a message that the world needed to hear, and asking him to make
room for her in the UNCED Plenary proceedings....What resulted was
what Senator Al Gore called "The best speech of the Rio Conference."
July 1992: Toronto Star columnist Michele Landsberg, wife of Stephen
Lewis, Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations.
"As Head of the Canadian Delegation, I want to personally thank
you for your effort and your contribution and it gives me great
pleasure to recognize this in a formal way through the attached
certificate from the Prime Minister who shares my high regard for
your work." Jean Charest, Minister of the Environment, Canada.
November 4, 1992.
"The best speech I heard at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio was
an electrifying talk by Vancouver's 12-year-old Severn Suzuki. An
outstanding spokesperson for the hopes and fears of the world's
children, Severn speaks with compassion for the endangered family
of Earth....On behalf of her generation and those yet to come, Severn's
strong call for change is unique in its logic and in its moral voice."
- Children's singer Raffi, May 14, 1993.
"UNEP has decided to pay tribute to your outstanding environmental
work by naming you to its 'Global 500' Roll of Honour. Please accept
my heartfelt congratulations. I wish to invite you to Beijing China
to receive the Certificate of Honour..." - Elizabeth Dowdswell,
Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme, New York.
April 30, 1993.
"If children could be made leaders in environmental programs,
Severn would surely be among them. She makes more sense than most
adults who engage in small talk and do nothing. Severn, like many
children her age are doers and that means a lot when it comes to
the environment. At age 5, she fought for the Indians in British
Columbia to protect them from logging interests. At age 10, she
founded the Environmental Children's Organization which participated
in the Earth Summit and brought the house down with her impassioned
speech." - The United Nations Environment Programme, Information
and Public Affairs Branch, Nairobi. May, 1993.
"I am very pleased to offer you my warmest congratulations
on having recently been named to the Global 500 Youth Environmental
Award Roll of Honour of the United Nations Environment Program.
This prestigious award is ...recognition of the great potential
which lies in your future. You have proven yourself to be a young
lady with tremendous enthusiasm, talent and intelligence; qualities
which are matched only by your desire to preserve the environmental
wonders of our world." - Ramon Hnatyshyn, The Governor General
of Canada. May 27, 1993.
"This articulate youngster is an outstanding spokesperson
for the hopes and fears of the world's children. She has great compassion
for the underprivileged, a strong sense of social justice, and possesses
a faultless logic which, combined with her young age, gives her
arguments a moral imperative that can not be ignored. I feel that
her role as the youth voice on the International Green Cross Board
would truly exemplify the value change you seek to embody."
- Children's singer Raffi to Rabbi Soetendorp and Mikhail Gorbachev,
Green Cross, The Hague. May 10, 1993.
"Your commitment to the environment sets an example for both
youth and adults and brings hope for the future." -Tore Brevik,
Chief, Information & Public Affairs, United Nations Environment
Programme. July 5, 1993.
"Raffi has kindly sent me a copy of the speech you recently
presented in Kyoto. Your insight and eloquence are exceptional!...Your
commitment is recognized as a great motivating force for both the
young and the old." - Arthur Campeau, Q.C., Ambassador for
Environment and Sustainable Development, Canada. July 2, 1993.
"We have transcribed your speech [in Amenia, New York] and
I am continually impressed with your dedication and insights. Your
speech was powerful and moving. You are the kind of person who will
make great improvements for the betterment of our planet Earth."
To Severn's Mother: "We often speak about the Festival; in
large part its success was due to your daughter's tremendous contribution.
You must be very proud of her. She's a rare person who will go far
in life. How gratifying it must be for you to see how much she has
accomplished." Taira Tanaka, Managing Director, The World Peace
Prayer Society, New York, N.Y. October 15, 1992.
"She's a media star. Groups around the world are clamoring
for her to speak. Her name is Severn Cullis-Suzuki and she's 13
years old." - The Vancouver Sun, July 10, 1993.
"Severn's presentation [at Burlington] was powerful, inspiring
and to borrow a word from my kids - awesome. The audience of 350
were captivated by her words and delivery....I was personally blown
away by her presentation and delighted to have met her. This was
a very special day for me." - George Torok, Burlington Sustainable
Development Committee. October 16, 1994.
"Your daughter has a great future in public speaking."
Vice-President Al Gore, 1994.
"What a delight to share with you perhaps your 'first public
stage'! Already you are publicly encouraging youth and elders to
'rekindle their culture' to respect mother Earth. Many EYA participants
told me how much you touched them during our intergenerational presentation
and during your ECO workshop." Ronald Leger, CIDA (Canadian
International Development Agency). May 18, 1991.
"I realize that she has a true gift for writing that I want
to support and encourage. In class, I see her as an analytical thinker.
She is a leader and she is an original. Congratulations, Severn!"
- Marie-Paule Fancello, Gifted/Enrichment Teacher, March 11, 1991.
"I had the pleasure of hearing you speak at the Burlington
Environmental Conference two years ago and I truly feel that you
can make adults listen and inspire other youth to speak out and
act." - Paul Boin, Editor, Ecolutions Magazine, September 1996.
"I was impressed with the power of your delivery and the truth
of your statements." - Bev Suderman, International Cooperation
Coordinator, YWCA Calgary. October 6, 1992.
"Severn Cullis-Suzuki, only 14 years old, personifies the
example and leadership young people have to offer." Volunteer
Vancouver, YWCA B.C.
The closing words of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro:
"You heard the other night from a fellow Canadian, a lovely
young 12-year-old girl, Severn Suzuki. I want to close these remarks
by reminding you of what she said, which I believe every child on
this planet will have in his or her heart as they look to what you
have done here at Rio.
She said, 'Parents used to be able to comfort their children by
saying Everything's going to be all right; we're doing the best
we can, and it's not the end of the world. But you can't say that
to us any more.
'Our planet is becoming worse and worse for all future children.
Yet we only hear adults talking about local interests and national
priorities. Are we even on your list of priorities? You grown-ups
say you love us, but we challenge you to make your actions reflect
And we are challenged, in the responsibilities we carry as we leave
Rio, to make our actions reflect the words which have testified
to our commitment here." -Maurice Strong, Secretary General,
Rio Earth Summit: United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
(UNCED); the closing words of the Rio Conference.
"David Brower, as you know, is thought to be the grandfather
of the modern-day environmental movement. He respects you very much....Throughout
David's travels around the world he proudly plays your videotaped
speech....He looks up to you as an eloquent young leader for the
environmental community and is inspired by your vision and strength."
Bill Buck, Earth Island Institute, San Francisco California June
"Your VanCity Earth Day speech on environmental citizenship
was brilliant and thought provoking"-Vancouver. "We are
proud to have featured such an eloquent speech in our annual Children's
issue" -California. "You very admirably represented the
voice of youth at the I.I.P.T. Conference....You reminded us of
what's truly important in life....Severn, you are a very special
person." -Montreal. "Severn's presentation was powerful,
inspiring and to borrow a word from my kids -- awesome." -Burlington.
"Without a doubt, many people are changed individuals as a
result of...that day" -Nanaimo. "I found your message
so powerful and really believe you are making such a difference
to people's lives...I was so moved by your speeches and challenged
to consider better ways in which I can make a difference..."
-Sydney, Australia. "A 14-year-old environmental crusader is
visiting to encourage her Japanese peers to put more pressure on
those controlling the fate of the Earth" -Osaka, Japan. "Congratulations
to your group on putting into words this loving warning. We are
proud to spread this message to teenagers throughout Brazil..."
Sao Paulo, Brazil. "I am a professor of environmental studies....Your
speech really encouraged and gave incentive to my students"
Yamanashi, Japan. "It's really important that young people's
views get listened to. Thanks a lot! Edinburgh, Scotland.. "I
feel I am doing well in my effort, Severn. That was your speech
at the Rio Earth Summit which initiated me to struggle for a better
environment all my life. I hope I can get an invaluable knowledge
from your experience. And I have started the journey now."
-Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.