Born and raised in Vancouver, Severn Suzuki has been working on environmental and social justice issues since kindergarten. At age 9, she and some friends started the Environmental Children's Organization (ECO), a small group of children committed to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. They traveled to 1992's UN Earth Summit, where 12 year-old Severn gave this powerful speech that deeply affected (and silenced) some of the most prominent world leaders. The speech had such an impact that she has become a frequent invitee to many UN conferences.


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  • Kate

    Humbled by her passion and bravery., shamed that a generation has come abs gone since then and we are still breaking our beautiful planet but hopeful that care and paying attention is available to us all... the young see without the clouds and complications of grown ups. I hope I grow up to be like her and if too late for me at 58 for my children and my childrens children to be like her. Blessings on us all.

  • Sandip Sheta

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed. -Mahatma Gandhi

  • Patricia Hardy

    What is Severn Suzuki doing now???

  • rlopez

    Many years have gone by since these courageous young adults traveled to the UN to deliver this compelling message. Initially I did feel the anger and outrage at the audience the speech was delivered to. But then I paused and realized two things: 1) many innovations, technologies, and "new" practices (often a revival of the ancient) have been developed towards being better stewards to our Earth in the years that have passed, and 2) successful implementation of #1 has not depended upon UN officials coming to an agreement, but rather individual citizens changing how they live and especially who they buy from. I think now it's time to take further steps for each person to consider each item they are buying, the impacts to the Earth from the item's creation to disposal, and if there are more sustainable alternatives. We vote for officials every so many years, but we vote with our money and attention every day.

  • shharda

    She spoke the TRUTH of todays situation. Humanity is no longer important but Material is. Compassion is no longer existing in a human mind but FEAR is. TRUST is buried under the layers of MISTRUST and SELFISHNESS....Definitely MOTHER EARTH is bearing THE burden OF IT ALL.

  • Linda Sechrist

    The courage it took for someone so young, yet so wise and insightful to speak out. The audience should have given her a standing ovation, heeded her words and taken action. They did not one of the three.

  • Sofia Gil

    I was amazed by her bravery that she had to stand up in front of all those adults and say what she said.

  • Darlene Duiker

    This beautiful child speaks the truth! As an adult but once a child, I too worried about the environment and still do. Truth, truth, truth!

  • Dixie

    Her courage is inspiring, to get up there in front of a roomful of powerful grownups. I am amazed and inspired.

  • Sandip Sheta

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.—M.Gandhi

  • Deborah

    At age 12 to express such compassion for other children her age in the world living through such extreme and challenging lives.... you speak well of the pressing world issues with understanding and truth..... and you relays your fears with honesty...... Severn we are Blessed by your Wisdom and your presence on our Planet which is calling for an Awakening for all to hear Namaste

  • T

    cant be summerized... the answer is every second of it. e total!

  • Yvonne

    So now it's 2018, 26 years have gone by, and we need to let our political leaders know that they will be wholeheartedly supported to take measures this wise girl pleaded for. Wake up, please wake up everybody! If keep abusing this fragile planet, what good will the latest gadget be?

  • SabirHossain

    Her courage and passion and the manner with what she had to say and creating awareness too.

  • Bilkis

    What an inspiring speech from a little girlhope each one of us do our not to save the environment

  • michael

    A strong message. Was it heard? How did it move the world leaders? We need to hear more about of the mouths of babes. A Ho!

  • yvonne

    Awareness of what is being done to our planet earth....this little girl is inspirering to listen to her passion for justice....Jesus will recognise her....thank you for putting this up.

  • dawn

    The courage and passion she has to speak her truth.

  • Shirley Marsh

    Wonderful young woman. I hope she is indicative of future generations who will do so much better than we are currently doing. Currently our world is run on greed. Money and profits have top priority. Shame on us.

  • Gil

    The fact that it was a young girl, who spoke like a seasoned orator on world conditions that really matter to everyone. Kudos to her and her group.

  • Brahm Parsh

    An eye opener for every one both young and old who needs to know how crucial for all of us to love the Mother Nature. If the present generation does not take the responsibility to reduce global warming, there is no future for future generation. I congratulate Severn for her great presentation for the elderly audience . God bless her🙏🌷🌹🌻🌼

  • George M. Pierides


  • John Potts

    YES! BRAVO! So well put!

  • Mary Hudson

    It took a child to express her feelings to the this high faluting group of people. She was humble, honest, a doer not just a sayer. She gave ALL of us lots to think about and A LOT TO ACT ON.

  • SLK

    Her speech is absolutely right because we're demolishing our home, Earth. I'm 8 years old and I also cried because of what Severn Suzuki said.


    I am silenced by the awareness and vision in this child's mind . Really we grown ups ,policy makers and politically influencing personalities and nations should introspect what this little child is trying to convey to the mankind.

  • Kristof

    Human being is meant to be free and that comes from education by teachers who have that freedom. Her father thought her well.

  • Wijesinghe A Gamini

    This is the real message to insane scientists and world leaders to in the world. My country Sri Lanka president Mr. Maithreepala Sirisena has taken action banned polythene and asbestos roofing sheet.

  • Cindy

    It seems that those in the room did not give her a standing ovation and so I have. This tiny fragile planet is losing its ability to sustain human life - 90 percent of sea birds are now found with plastic in their digestive systems - fish full of mercury, and irradiated from nuclear power plants gone critical.... bees dying - human hubris making this insignificant species think that they can play with the very genomes of life - for what? Profit? This is the legacy that is being given to children - a poisoned, damage ecosystem that CAN NOT sustain them. What went wrong between the idealism of the 60's and now? The message of love has been crushed in the pollution - the message of peace spat upon with an iron boot that drops death on people from robots... and laughed at, President Kennedy's Peace Corp turned into an instrument to take and not give...... I saw exactly one butterfly this summer, and I was so overjoyed I cried at its beauty and wonder - Mother Nature does not NEED humans - Humans NEED Mother Nature - Father Ocean does not Need humans - humans need Father Ocean....... This young woman's incredible warning and F- report card to the haughty, spoiled "adults" was not given a standing ovation - and that too makes me cry.

  • Rupert

    I was very moved by her speech, her wisdom and had tears in my eyes as I watched this :) I hope she went on to do many great things, bless her :)

  • Tamara

    Brave girl with dedication and a heart to change the world. People always discount children as though what they say is meaningless. I say what a child says from a pure heart needs to be heard with open ears and open hearts. Her words are true. It is greed that has poisoned our planet and no one can eat or breathe money. It is time for all to realize this.

  • H. Kayhan

    If we think of what we are doing we will be less destructive.

  • david marsden

    Brave, courageous, inspiring. Nothing else be said.

  • bob sauerbrey

    The future is in good hands with young people like this being the leaders of humanity.

  • Arealater

    A great speech can end in world solution, but actions can come a long way from that.

  • g.walker

    I would like my teen-age U.S. granddaughters to hear this message. I am 80 years old, it is not too late for our young people to learn from this. They are our future, they are your future and their own future.

  • kensi

    she is like a mini martin luther king jr. jr.

  • kensi

    she is powerful to just be 12

  • Philip

    A little effort can grow a long way

  • Chander Sharma

    It is old Hindu mantra-take from nature as only as much, which you can return. Otherwise this world will be destroyed for ever.

  • Catherine

    It bought me to tears. Just really cut to the quick. Thank you Severn. I'll be putting you out through my network The Art of Healing.

  • Corinne

    Her passion and clarity are infectious. Her message, although now more than 20 years ago, is the cry inside each one of us that desires a better expression of humanity. If we would all wake up and take responsibility for how we impact our own circle of influence we can make a difference in the world one community at a time. Severn is a gift and the "tack on on our seat"!

  • Sophie

    It made me want to make a difference too!

  • Michael

    To "JANIS" who just responded to Severn's moving speech with her one word, "Boring". Only boring people get bored Janice!

  • H. Kayhan

    We are all in it. Everyone of us, young and old, have to do our part to keep our environment clean.

  • melba aasa

    the speech really makes me cry. I love the way you present your speech. I am willing to join before its too late

  • gamini subasena

    You are the god gifted child to save this planet and I am willing to join before its too late

  • johnlayzell

    this blew me away

  • Jess

    If you can't fix it, stop breaking it.

  • Kakoli Biswas

    the picture was not clear to me.

  • fp79

    Also, zw's post... I saw other comments like that. "The world isn't perfect - Everyone, included me and this girl, is evil" etc. So just do as many people, go ahead and bash her: makes sense. Actually, she wasn't so naive saying "If you can't fix it, stop breaking it".

  • Sajjad ali

    I am 19 years of age. If she repeat her speach for todays world or environment,would be very sad speach..20 years ago the environment was palluted by gasses but now by blood(terrirism)

  • Johnson Onibokun

    We are all guilty. Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it. Twenty-three years after this indictment speech, there's no appreciable improvement within the world polity, most especially the developing countries because of their leaders' questionable actions such as Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice an Polditics without principles.

  • Larry Forrester

    I feel guilty beyond belief.I am 72 years old and now believe that my generation has done more to damage the world we live in . Although I studiously re-cycle waste, keep heating and water usage as low as possible, walk for short shopping trips use energy saving products as much as I can donate to at least 5 charities by direct debit every month I am not doing enough. I confess that listening to this young lady brought tears of shame to my eyes. I will start to use my car much less, forget the planned flight to the USA on holiday for this year and increase as much as I can afford my donations to children's charities like Oxfam/Save the children etc. I am truly ashamed of what we have done to this earth of ours. After all IT IS THE ONLY ONE WE'VE GOT!

  • al

    there are a lot of 12 year olds with smart thinking brains and good intentions but unfortunately most of them turn into 32 year old dead weights - severn also must be good at what she does now but where is she now - u think with a speech like that she would have been a world crusader - life happens and we move on. this is not to criticize severn but to acknowledge her part that she played weel while we are yet to get off our butts... but as i said life happens ant it goes on....very few of us are willing to sacrifice the comforts of the new age that we are seduced into the simple life is looked down at....who am i to complain.. i am part of the guilty

  • Pam Preston

    Watch out.... here come our grandchildren!

  • JDS

    What inspired you about this video? The sad fact is that very little progress has been made by way of impressing the power elite that this is even more relevant now than it was 20 years ago. It's sad that bitter, misinformed adults would feel such anger (self loathing, I suspect) that they would criticize or dismiss such impassioned intentions. There is another generation of passionate 12 year olds to make this plea.The question is; are there committed 32 year olds prepared to take action, make sacrifices, or even to vote along environmental lines?

  • stephen

    Her message was spot on 20 years ago, as it is today...unfortunately what she said 20 years ago she could repeat word for word today...

  • cathy o

    it makes me ashamed to see what we have done and how few solutions we have to offer her. shes right. I thank her for making me think about what i can do in my small world one issue at a time. Miracles are possible when we make the effort. cathy o

  • Bernard

    That Jennifer is and always will be a loser for her stupid negative comments

  • Dr. Lock

    All i can say is Wow.

  • Sara

    The comment below me, from that Jennifer person.. Yeeahhh. Honey, you're an imbicile. She did not name her sources because although they were likely written down it would break the effect the speech had. Furthermore, she was not trying to say that there was a new extinct species daily, she was expressing the decrease in the number of many species in areas inhabited by humans, and in general. Use your brain, if you have one. If you honestly don't believe this stuff, then that's YOUR problem. But guess what? It took a lot of spunk to go up there in front of world leaders, and cameras to give that speech that barely any people have. I would LOVE to see you write a better speech that contradicts hers, with citations. If you can't do better, then don't hate on her for your problems. Get over yourself. No one cares what you THINK you know. Good day : )

  • Jennifer

    I thought the speech was very inaccurate and had a lot of misinformation. She didn't provide sources for any of her "facts" which makes me think that they were not true! For example, I know that there isn't an animal and plant that goes extinct every day. I also know that new species are developing every day.

  • Iann

    The fact that it is so obvious that a child can see the hipocracy of the adult world.She called us on our bulls&^%t.

  • Patrick

    Yes,Yes, Let the children speak their truth and be heard for their courage of heart. truth is born of woman, justice is a nurturing environment.

  • Olala

    We need more of these from our youths...

  • nkumuke simon yongolo

    its true no fear on saying the truth

  • rajesh

    its one of the greatest speeches i have ever heard.

  • roar

    hey forbes and campbell

  • roar


  • Luanne

    Can you imagine what would happen if EVERY Gossip TV news channel would, for one week, focus on what this little girl is saying instead of who's sleeping with who and who had dinner with who. Even ALL The 24/7 News Channels need to focus on this for one week. Could you imagine the impact it would have on the WORLD!!!!!!!!! We are far to busy with other matters that it's so, so sad.

  • Joseph Alabat

    Only when every individual is microchipped and tracked will the earth be safe and efficient. The day has come for the roundup of all private weapons. Freedom has been over rated for centuries. Mankind must accept his responsibility to be small and humble. He must be grateful for the ant, the cockroach, the spider and the leaf. Re-education is the pathway to a brighter future. Cull the herd and reap a better future. Only beautiful people should reproduce. The others should be used in live experimentation.

  • Kait

    Brave Girl. I commend her for her optimism. Never give up hope that we can make the world a better place, for there is no way of calculating the impact that one word, one person can have on the world. Remember Ghandi, Mother Theresea, even Hitler and Stalin. These last two were monsters but they certainly left their mark. Let us strive to be like those who worked to change the world for the better. Well done girl. No matter what anyone else says never give up. Never stop speaking up. This world needs more dreamers like you. Maybe one day the dream will come true. Bravo

  • binod singh

    she must be doing great now whereever she may be! if she is listening she must involve us in her great

  • Lindabtm

    Those were the most beautifully spoken words of truth spoken from the heart. It's time for a change.

  • Robin Duff

    Have always believed in the young as they are the ONLY ones who see things with uncluttered vision. Brilliant work Severn. And KEEP IT GOING. Keep beating the so-called powers that be, over the head. It has to be done.

  • Danielle

    That was an amazing speech, it brought tears to my eyes. She's going to make an impact on the world.....

  • Somesh Agrawal


  • zw

    sutpid little girl .... the world dosnt turn that way and it never will.... grow up and accept it

  • Connie Lake

    What a powerful message! Are those in power really listening to all of her words or will they go by the way side and become silent to those who have the power to change the world. I have no reason to complain of my very own situations in life when compared to those around the world who are suffering. Are we really going to keep this young girls voice alive in the minds of those who have the power to change our world?

  • Tabbypuku

    Speechless....and makes me cry. It's been 16 years since this speech. Not merely speaking and thinking, it is time to take ACTIONS!

  • Syed Abdul Haq

    Amazing!!!!!!!!!!! Nobody can stop her expression, excellent speech, I must to try bcz her words made my eyes a full of water. I would like to say something here those who listen this speech they should learn something from her words. And I hope she will be become a Prime Minister. My best wishes always for her and I solute her.

  • Evan

    excellent speech writing, if it is her own. the parallel structure of "I am just a child..." really drives it home. if a child understands these things, why cant the leaders of the most powerful nations of the world?

  • Amber

    Pure... Beautiful.. Amazing. No words can describe this speech. No matter how much I would like to try. The words made me cry. I haven't heard something so true in such a long time. All I want to say, is thank you.

  • Nydia Rivera

    Such incredible perception in such a young child. Spoken with true grace and elegance. Unfortunately, nothing she says will ever make a difference. She is right -- we are afraid and we are greedy, and those things will not change in enough time to make a difference. How truly sad that makes me feel.

  • Rick Brooks

    Show me a better speech and I want to hear it. Because she was 12, she has immense moral influence even if she was wise and articulate far beyond her years. This is a classic; a perfect example to offer students of speech making. More important, it communicates in a profoundly honest way--with palpable anger even--the most important challenges we all face. Having heard it before, I have never forgotten it. We should share this speech with everyone possible--politicians, teachers, students, preachers, polluters, business people who don't seem to get it, litterers, terrorists, consumers, people of great wealth and those without. And then we should respond to her amazingly impassioned and heartfelt presentation by doing something to respond to her every point. As part of the preparation for the United Nations International Day of Peace, a number of us are creating a family of strategies based on "10 Basic Needs" that are precursors to peace and well being. Severn Suzuki has articulated both the need and the path of action that can bring our common compassion and obligations to future generations alive. Listen to her. Think how each of us can look her in the eye and say that we have done our best.

  • Cami AT

    I'm glad you pulled this out of the archives. And am now curious what Savern is up to today, 16 years after she made this compelling speech.

  • OneWorld

    Updates of Severn Suzuki:

  • Engr. Babatunde A. Okunowo

    I feel the impact of the video clip and tune. Please, I wish it could created as a web-shot for the wallpaper, and I feel, believe, and pray it would change the world into a better place. It is a great work by your team. Please keep it up!

  • speechwriter

    Presidents aren't the only ones who have speech writers. Is this the work of a 12yo or a group with a world agenda? See the following from the same conference:

  • akshay

    .. trying to put a hole in a brick wall by throwing ping pong balls at it.. well said, i concur. I am sure that there are many others at various age levels who (can) deliver, as good as this, if not better, speech. But is this enough? and as for listeners, majority of them will listen, clap and get on with what they were doing..

  • Whatever

    1992?what the f?Sure it is good to show courage,passion,etc,etc and inspire people...but its 2008.the time is to act now,not be happy with a speech in past or think to worry about environment in the future.I am sure the world leaders probably forgot about it soon--a day or two atm most for most of them.By the way the electricity required to host this video is also using resources(i know i am being an idiot,but i dont give a damn as yesterday no one supported me in the preservation of environment.We should promote the people who promote the environment today.) and whats with the cameraman?instead of showing faces of world leader of countries who pollute the most,he/she is showing the face of some African leaders whose countries i doubt had proper electricity back then.. ps: to girl--for the 10th time we know you were a child...

  • Cordell

    So this speech was given in 1992 and as a result of her eloquence, she was invited to subsequent conferences where more impassioned speeches were given about things they would rather talk about than fix? I wonder if she realized that her efforts arent that much different than trying to put a hole in a brick wall by throwing ping pong balls at it..

  • Robin

    Very well spoken, she should be the next prime minister for she lives in Canada :D

  • ZIM

    LOL, this is why we need to get rid of the UN, they sit around listening to a stupid girl who doesnt think that we know how to put new fish in a stream or plant a tree, or the fact that their have been millions of extinctions on this planet and we are all still fine. This global climate change sickens me, is this what it has come to, a tactic to scare children and have them waste their childhood worrying that they cant change?

  • Gil

    Very touching, indeed beutiful

  • Jancis


  • FrankietheWaffle

    That was amazing. Maybe she didn't write it all herself but collaborated with other youth. I am nearly ashamed that I have not seen this before. I am really curios to see what that kid is doing at 28. I will watch it again.

  • binod singh

    Wonderful, she must be doing great now, not like we adults.she is invited to join the crusade called

  • Page 1

  • Read the full text of Severn's speech, and pass it on to another 12 year old you know.
  • Learn more about young people making an environmental difference in the world: Brower Youth Award winners.
  • If you were to write a speech about making the world a better place, what would you say?

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