UAE Hub Leader Wins 2013 International Schools Essay Competition

August 23, 2013


Seychelles is an archipelago of islands nestled in the vastness of the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa. If one wants to understand what paradise means, one should visit this country.

I had the immense good fortune of being invited to visit Seychelles on two accounts:

  1. As a winner of the 2013 International Schools Essay Competition and Debate, organized by The Living Rainforest, UK and to attend the prize ceremony which was held in the capital of Seychelles, Mahe. The topic of the contest was “Who is responsible ... are we ready to take responsibility for the future of our planet?” The Living Rainforest received 831 entries from 65 countries. This is second year in succession that I was a winner, having won in 2012 as well and went to London to receive my prize.
  2. I was also invited by the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Environment, as I am the Global Coordinator for Children and Youth UNEP Major Groups Facilitating Committee, in order to interact with the students of their Eco Schools and share my journey as a young eco-warrior.

The prize ceremony of The Living Rainforest was held at the vast Botanical Gardens which in itself is a heritage site. It contained trees of stupendous variety and the foliage was lush and green. In this idyllic setting, I received my trophy and thereafter gave a speech to the assembled winners, guests and Tourism Ambassador about my work and how children can make a difference in creating a sustainable world.

In keeping with my philosophy of planting trees in every country I visit, I planted a sapling in the beautiful Botanical garden. One day I hope to return and see the sapling I planted grow into a towering tree.
Over the next few days, I visited many Eco schools and spoke to their students on sustainable living. I was greatly impressed by the green initiatives that these students undertook in their schools. They recycled almost everything and it was really good to see how concerned they were about protecting the biodiversity of their home.
Thereafter I was invited for a meeting at the Ministry of Environment where I interacted with officials who were very appreciative of the work I was doing. They commended me on my work as a youth ambassador.

I was also interviewed in the local media and television. The Seychelles official tourism website now carries my name and refers to my visit to this tropical paradise, which we as eco-warriors, must help to preserve at all costs for future generations. I am including a picture of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean and the beauty of this image shall stay with me forever.

Report by:

Kehkashan Basu

Global Coordinator for Children and Youth, UNEP MGFC
Global President of the Children’s Board Plant-for-the-Planet COE
Hub Leader – Dubai

With my trophy and certificate, receiving it from Seychelles Officials.
With my trophy and certificate, receiving it from Seychelles Officials.
The other winners
Planting a tree at the Botanical Gardens
Planting a tree at the Botanical Gardens
Sun Setting over the Indian Ocean

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