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Severn Suzuki Returned to Rio

“We really need to hear from the youth … we need them to rise up and remind us what it’s all about.”

In 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio the 12-year old Severn Suzuki gave a moving speech. Unfortunately it is as true today as it was back than. Her speech could be repeated word by word at Rio+20. It is sad that 20 years later we haven’t found a more sustainable lifestyle. But it is positive that we children and youth are much better connected today than 20 years ago. Severn’s video has been watched 20 million times in the past 20 years, today we can reach and mobilize 20 million people in two days.

20 years later Severn, a mother of two, is back in Rio. For the youth she is the key to a sustainable world:

“We really need to hear from the youth, because young people, people under 30, now comprise over 50 percent of the world’s population, and yet they have so little decision-making power. We need them to rise up and remind us what it’s all about.”

Here’s Severn’s speech (1992):

It’s a shame!

How little have the adults reached in the past 20 years since Rio 1992. It’s about our future and the future of our children. Durban was a fail, Rio is a fail. Us young people, we need to raise up and take our future in our own hands. We need to fight for our future!

20 years ago, Rio was a unique dawn. About two years prior to that the iron curtain fell and there was this unique euphoric mood, the spirit of Rio, where people finally tend to the key questions of humanity, to tackle and solve them. This spirit of Rio was locked in a bottle if not before, than today. Back in 1992 the leaders from many countries started to look for rules for our common planet. Even then it was high time to do so. Today it is even more urgent. These twelve charts show the development in the forests, fish, hunger, biodiversity, women, vaccinations, education, midwifery, climate, development aid, HIV infections and toilets: (source: Süddeutsche Zeitung)

This article is over a year old and may not reflect latest facts and figures. If you have any questions, please contact media@plant-for-the-planet.org