Winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize, Kehkashan Basu, has been
impacting the global fraternity with her work on peace and sustainability. Born on 5th June,
which is also World Environment Day, she feels that it was pre-ordained that she should grow
up to be an eco-warrior. Spreading the message of peace, happiness and sustainability has
been her passion since she was only 8 years old and she has worked tirelessly to enlist the
support of children and youth across geographical boundaries. In 2013, at the age of 12, she
was elected for a 2 year term as UNEP’s (United Nations Environment Programme) Global
Coordinator for Children and Youth and a member of its Major Groups Facilitating Committee
and she is the youngest person and the first minor, ever, to be elected into this position in the
history of UNEP.
Kehkashan is the founder of a youth organisation, Green Hope Foundation, which seeks to
provide a networking platform to children and youth in the region to carry forward the Rio legacy
through several environmental workshops and ground level projects on climate justice, biodiversity conservation,
waste segregation and reversing land degradation.
It now has over 1000 members across the Middle East, India, Brazil, USA and Canada. In her
role as the voice of children and youth, she has spoken at over 50 United Nations and other
international summits, travelling to over 20 countries. Her internationally acclaimed work on
sustainability has resulted in her appointment as the Youth Ambassador of World Future
Council, Honorary Adviser for the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development – NY,
Global Advisory Council member of Young Men 4 Gender Equality -USA , a Climate
Reality Leader , member of KidsRights Youngsters and a former Global Youth
Ambassador for A World At School (2014-2016) to promote the cause of global education.
In 2010 and in 2013, the Middle East’s most coveted education award, HH Shaikh Hamdan
Award for Distinguished Academic Performance. She is a poet and prolific writer and her poem
won the Taaleem Poetry Award at the 2012 Emirates International Festival of Literature. Her
maiden book on sustainability, “Tree of Hope”, was launched at the 2015 United Nations
Childrens’ Summit in New York and she also held a “reading” the 2016 Emirates Literature
Festival in Dubai.
For her environmental advocacy at a global level, Kehkashan has received international
awards from UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) in 2012, the 2012
Korea Green Foundation award, the 2013 International Young Eco-Hero award from
Action for Nature, USA & the 2014 Kids are Heroes USA award , 2014 GESS award as
Ambassador for the Environment , the 2014 Solar Pioneer Award and the 2015
International Diana Award.