One Young World Profile profiles

Kehkashan Basu

Will join University of Toronto in Fall 2018 as an undergraduate

I am passionate about

As an 18 year old , I firmly believe that our generation is the last one that has the opportunity of addressing the current state of environmental degradation before it is too late. Therefore, I am extremely passionate about mitigating the impacts of climate change, addressing the gender climate nexus, stop the loss of biodiversity (threats to species, habitats & ecosystems) and accelerate the move to renewable energy especially in the transport and energy segments so that our cities become sustainable. Robert Swan once said "The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it". This apathy of civil society to our environment is the main reason for the current state of degradation. These challenges to our environment can only be tackled by eradicating this apathy, through engagement, education & empowerment of civil society , especially children and youth who are the “future generations” and are unfortunately amongst the most marginalised and least represented in the decision making process. Education for Sustainable Development is one of the ways of empowering young people to address these challenges and protecting our environment. We, the youth, need to take a leadership role in driving this change since it is our future that is at stake and this has been my mission for the last 10 years.


I established youth sustainability organisation, Green Hope Foundation in 2012 to engage, educate and empower young people to drive positive change and mitigate environmental impacts. We now have 1000+ youth members across Canada, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent. Using Education for Sustainable Development as a transformative tool, I conduct awareness workshops and conferences called "Environment Academies" wherein I use creative communication modes of art, music, song, dance, drama & sport to educate the youth on climate change, its impacts on gender and children's rights, loss of biodiversity, adopt renewable energy and make our cities sustainable. I have conducted over 100 academies in 10+ countries, directly educating over 5000 youth. We have planted over 11,000 trees worldwide, cleaned 100+ beaches, conducted waste recycling campaigns, led Earth Hour marches, conserved fragile mangrove ecosystems, led campaigns to save endangered turtles & rhinos and conducted workshops for Syrian refugee children & orphans and the homeless in India & Nepal. To inspire others, I wrote a book "Tree of Hope" about a young girl, like me, who turns her desert village into an oasis by planting trees. My book was launched at 2015 United Nations Children's Summit-New York and is part of many school libraries. I have spoken at 75+ United Nations and international forums such as World Bank & European Parliament calling on world leaders to take meaningful, time bound actions to address environmental issues. I write blogs, actively use social media for advocacy, create youtube videos and compose songs on climate justice. At 12, I became the Global Coordinator for UNEP's Major Groups for Children & Youth , being the youngest person to hold this position and this helped me to motivate the global youth fraternity.