By Cameron Esler
11/12/2019

“EVERY CHILD SHOULD BE ABLE TO LIVE WITHOUT WORRYING”

 

Franny and Rupert have received international recognition for their environmental rights advocacy. They inspire and empower youth to take action to protect their future.

 

Living in Victoria, we are surrounded by so much natural beauty. We walk along the beaches, swim in the lakes, hike the trails and we do so with gratitude and appreciation. We are growing up in a safe and stable environment… or so we thought. We now understand that every child and youth in Canada lives in unsafe environmental conditions due to climate change, deforestation, species loss, plastic pollution and more. We believe every child should be able to live without worrying about the effects of pollution or climate change on themselves or their family. Every child and every citizen of Canada should have their environmental rights recognized by the Canadian government. This is why we are environmental rights advocates and volunteers with Blue Dot.

For the past five years, we have been working with all three levels of government to encourage them to formally recognize their citizens’ right to live in a healthy environment. We are also proud citizens of Canada. We feel it is our responsibility to work to create the country we want, need and deserve. Our Canada includes recognizing environmental rights.

Environmental rights is a human rights approach to environmental protection and conservation. It means every human being has the right to access clean air, clean water, safe food, biodiverse ecosystems, information, a say in environmental decision-making and justice if a healthy environment is threatened or violated.

Yes, there is a lot wrong with the world but there is also a lot that is right. There are a lot of caring, dedicated people working to find solutions to our environmental and social problems. Before we began our environmental rights advocacy work, we did not think we could be problem-solvers or change-makers. In 2014, when David Suzuki and the Blue Dot tour called on their audiences to champion environmental rights, we were only 10 and seven years old. Even though we were young, we felt we had to do our part. Blue Dot gave us the tools and opportunity to make real change. Blue Dot inspired us to take action; it gave us hope.

And we all need hope.

 

Photo credit: David Ellingsen

 

Blue Dot relies on the efforts of dedicated citizens taking action in their local communities. Humans of Blue Dot is an attempt to capture the unique stories of some inspiring volunteers who have generously given their time to advancing the environmental rights movement in Canada.