Kehkashan Basu

Youth Leadership Council Member

Winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize, 17-year-old Kehkashan Basu,has been impacting the global fraternity since she was 8 years old with her work onclimate justice, children’s rights, education for sustainable development, genderequality and peace. Born on 5th June, which is also World Environment Day, she feelsthat it was pre-ordained that she should grow up to be an eco-warrior. In 2013, at theage of 12, she was elected for a 2 year term as the Global Coordinator for UnitedNations Environment Programme’s Major Groups for Children & Youth making her theyoungest person and the first minor, ever, to be elected into this position in the historyof UNEP. A passionate advocate of children’s rights, Kehkashan is a United NationsHuman Rights Champion and lends her support to the UN’s StandUp campaign. TheUK Youth Climate Coalition named her as one the 8 global Climate Heroines of 2014and in June 2017, rock band U2 featured her as one of powerful women changing theworld at their Toronto concert. Kehkashan is the founder of a youth organization, GreenHope Foundation, which seeks to educate and empower children and youth globally andengage them in the SDG2030 process through ground level community centric projectson climate justice, stopping land degradation, promoting sustainable consumption,biodiversity conservation and gender equality, promoting renewable energy and socialjustice. Green Hope now has over 1000 members across Canada, the Middle East andthe Indian sub-continent and has engaged thousands of young people and adults throughtheir workshops and conferences in the implementation of the sustainable developmentgoals. In her role as the voice of children and youth, she has spoken at over 75 UnitedNations and other international summits, travelling to over 20 Countries. Herinternationally acclaimed work on sustainability has resulted in her appointment as theYouth Ambassador of World Future Council, Honorary Advisor for the NGOCommittee on Sustainable Development – NY, 2018 World Oceans Day YouthAdvisory Council member, Global Advisory Council member of Young Men 4 GenderEquality -USA , a Climate Reality Leader and a member of KidsRights Youngsters. Sheis a prolific poet and author and her maiden book on sustainability, “Tree of Hope”,was launched at the 2015 United Nations Children’s Summit in New York and is now apart of many school libraries. She also had a reading session at the 2016 EmiratesLiterature Festival in Dubai. For her advocacy at a global level, Kehkashan hasreceived international awards from UNCCD (United Nations Convention to CombatDesertification) in 2012, the 2012 Korea Green Foundation award, the 2013International Young Eco-Hero award from Action for Nature, USA, the 2014 Kids areHeroes USA award, 2014 GESS award as Ambassador for the Environment, the 2014Solar Pioneer Award , the 2014 Non-Resident Indian of the Year award and the 2015International Diana Award, the 2017 Energy Globe Award, 2017 Turner Social ChangePrize and was chosen as one of the five Caribbean & the Americas Region Winners forthe Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work 2018. She hasalso been named as one of Toronto’s most inspiring change-makers.