現代文学で博士号を取得したTara Elizabeth Cullis と、著名なカナダの遺伝学者で環境問題活動家のDavid Suzuki（生物学で博士号取得）の娘として生まれる。
and raised in Vancouver, Severn has been working on in
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 Rio Earth Summit, where 12 year-old Severn
gave a powerful speech that deeply affected the leaders who heard
In the spring of 2002, Severn and some friends founded an internet-based discussion group and website called The Skyfish Project. The daughter of a well-known Canadian scientist/environmentalist/TV host, Severn travels around the world speaking to delegates, students, and corporations about taking steps to a more sustainable, responsible, and just future for the planet.
The following is a transcript of the speech that Severn Suzuki gave to the Plenary Session at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio Centro, Brazil. Severn was twelve years old then.
Hello, I'm Severn Suzuki
speaking for E.C.O. - The Environmental Children's Organisation.
We are a group of twelve and thirteen-year-olds trying to make a difference: Vanessa Suttie, Morgan Geisler, Michelle Quigg and me. We've raised all the money ourselves to come five thousand miles to tell you adults you must change your ways. Coming up here today, I have no hidden agenda. I am fighting for my future.
Losing my future is not like losing an election or a few points on the stock market. I am here to speak for all generations to come.
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.
I am afraid to go out in the sun now because of the holes in our ozone. I am afraid to breathe the air because I don't know what chemicals are in it.
I used to go fishing in Vancouver, my home, with my dad until just a few years ago we found the fish full of cancers. And now we hear of animals and plants going extinct every day -- vanishing forever.
In my life, I have dreamt of seeing the great herds of wild animals, jungles and rainforests full of birds and butterflies, but now I wonder if they will even exist for my children to see.
Did you have to worry of these little things when you were of 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 the salmon back up on a dead stream.
* You don't know how to bring back an animal now extinct.
* And you can't bring back the forests that once grew where there is now a desert.
If you don't know how to fix it, please stop breaking it!
Here, you may be
delegates of your governments, business people, organizers,
reporters or politicians - but really you are mothers and
fathers, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles - and all of you
are someone's child.
I'm only a child, yet I know we are all part of a family, five billion strong, in fact, 30 million species strong and borders and governments will never change that.
I'm only a child, yet I know we are all in this together and should act as one single world towards one single goal.
In my anger, I am not blind, and in my fear, I am not afraid of telling the world how I feel.
In my country, we make so much waste, we buy and throw away, buy and throw away, and yet northern countries will not share with the needy. Even when we have more than enough, we are afraid to share, we are afraid to let go of some of our wealth.
In Canada, we live the privileged life, with plenty of food, water and shelter -- we have watches, bicycles, computers and television sets. The list could go on for two days.
Two days ago here in
Brazil, we were shocked when we spent some time with some
children living on the streets. This is what one child told us:
"I wish I was rich and if I were, I would give all the
street children food, clothes, medicines, shelter and love and
If a child on the streets who has nothing, is willing to share, why are we who have everything still so greedy?
I can't stop thinking that these are children my own age, that it makes a tremendous difference where you are born, that I could be one of those children living in the Favellas of Rio; I could be a child starving in Somalia; or a victim of war in the Middle East or a beggar in India.
I'm only a child, yet I know if all the money spent on war was spent on finding environmental answers, ending poverty, what a wonderful place this earth would be!
At school, even in
kindergarten, you teach us how to behave in the world. You teach
* 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?
Do not forget why you're
attending these conferences, who you're doing this for -- we are
your own children. You are deciding what kind of world we are
growing up in. Parents should be able to comfort their children
by saying "Everything's going to be alright,"
"It's not the end of the world" and "We're doing
the best we can."
But I don't think you can say that to us anymore. Are we even on your list of priorities? My dad always says "You are what you do, not what you say."
Well, what you do makes me cry at night. You grown ups say you love us. But I challenge you, please make your actions reflect your words.