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Letter to the Future from Green Hope Founder, Kehkashan Basu

Tell us about your role and how you are contributing to the society:

I am a 16 year sustainability activist, working passionately for the past 8 years to give voice to the aspirations of children and youth , who are the Future Generations. I founded Green Hope on my return from Rio+20 to provide young people a platform to engage in the sustainable development process. I conduct awareness workshops called “Environment Academies” , conduct field trips and travel the world speaking at international summits to highlight our needs and aspirations. In 2016 , I was awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize.

Presently, what do you like about Canada?

Canada is a land of immigrants and has stayed true to its roots of embracing all cultures and faiths to build a society that is harmonious. It is blessed with bountiful natural resources and is one of the few places in the world where one can enjoy nature’s pristine beauty almost at one’s doorstep. People from different backgrounds and ethnicity call Canada their home and it is of utmost importance that this thread of oneness remains strong and undisturbed. Our education and social care systems are among the best in the world and should continue to be in place with the sole objective of supporting its citizens who are the lifeblood of this nation. In a world torn apart by hatred and strife, Canada is an oasis of peace and this is surely the greatest blessing that we can count upon.

Letter to the Future from Green Hope:

Letter to the Future from Green HopeDear Leaders of the Future,

History is meant to be a lesson for the future so that we do not commit the mistakes of the past. As you look back through the mists of time, to that point 150 years ago, you would be seeing the world where poverty remains the greatest challenge facing mankind. Millions of children were dying each day in underdeveloped parts of the globe, while food was rotting in the warehouses of the rich nations. Young girls were denied the right to education and even killed in the womb under the guise of tradition. Gender equality was a distant dream. In Canada, our precious natural resources were getting depleted, forests cut down and rivers polluted by chemical spewing industries in the name of economic progress. The impacts of climate change were being disregarded under the mistaken notion that it was just a myth.

Then something changed.

Civil society and stakeholders came together with policy makers to give birth to the sustainable development goals – a set of 17 ambitious goals and 169 targets ranging from poverty eradication to gender equality which promised to rid the world of its multifarious problems and create an order that was just and equitable. This was followed by the Paris Climate Agreement and for the first time the two pathways of Climate change and sustainable development merged into one.

Canada, true to its founding spirit, embraced this call for change and ensured that it listened to the voices of its people. It put the environment ahead of so called economic progress , it made sure that fossil fuels gave way to natural energy sources, it took due care to protect the rights of the indigenous people and brought everyone together for the future prosperity of the nation.

We have truly reached a stage where society, economic progress and the environment, which are the three pillars of sustainability are at harmony with each other. But this balance is fragile and can go into disarray if you, as leaders of the future, do not show the prudence and understanding of the past. Future generations deserve to inherit the same resources and pristine beauty of nature that your forefathers enjoyed. Progress can never be achieved at the cost of the environment. I urge you to abide by this simple truth as you forge ahead to shape our destiny.

Sincerely,

Kehkashan Basu
President & Founder
Green Hope