Today is World Nature Conservation Day, and on behalf of Early Childhood Association I would like you all to read the following extract from the speech of a 13 year old appealing to adults to take care of nature …if not for us then for our children.-Dr. Swati Popat Vats, President Early Childhood Association.
At the plenary session of the Earth Summit at Rio Centro in Brazil, Severn Suzuki (age 13) spoke on behalf of the Environmental Children’s Organization. She exhorted the adults there to change their ways, so that the world would be a better place for the future generations.
“I am here to speak on behalf of the starving children around the world whose cries go unheard. I am here to speak for the countless animals dying across this planet because they have nowhere left to go. We cannot afford to be not heard.
I am afraid to go in the sun now because of the holes in the ozone. I am afraid to breathe the air because I don’t know what chemicals are in it.
Did you have to worry about these little things when you were my age? All this is happening before our eyes and yet we act as if we have all the time we want and all the solutions.
I’m only a child and I don’t have all the solutions, but I want you to realize, neither do you!
You don’t know how to fix the holes in our ozone layer.
You don’t know how to bring salmon back up a dead stream.
You don’t know how to bring back an animal, now extinct.
And you can’t bring back forests that once grew where there is no desert.
If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it!
At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us to behave in the world. You teach us;
® not to fight with others,
® to work things out,
® to respect others,
® to clean up our mess,
® not to hurt other creatures.
® To share-not be greedy
Then why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do?
You are deciding what kind of world we will grow up in. Parents should be able to comfort their children by saying ‘everything’s’ going to be alright’, ‘we’re doing the best we can’ and ‘it’s not the end of the world.’
But I don’t think you can say that to us anymore.
Well, what you do makes me cry at night.
You grown ups say you love us. I challenge you, please make your actions reflect your words.”
Strong words indeed by a child, but it echoes what millions of children must be saying to us or will say to us in times to come. Lets make a new beginning by saving our natural resources so that our children will have some when they grow up!