Children's Appeal to World Leaders
Rio de Janeiro, June 1992
1. WE WANT TO INHERIT A CLEAN EARTH. We would like everybody to understand that the Earth is like a beautiful garden in which no one has the right to destroy anything. We would like our grandchildren to know: What is a tree, a fish, a dog. Leave us trees to climb in.
2. ECOLOGY IS NOT JUST TREES, ANIMALS AND RIVERS; IT IS ALSO HUNGER AND THE HOMELESS. We should all help our brothers and sisters who have been abandoned on the streets. Eliminate poverty. We want you to understand that all excessive consumption affects developing countries most.
3. WE WANT CHILDREN'S RIGHTS TO BE RESPECTED ALL OVER THE WORLD. No child should be imprisoned or beaten, no child should die of hunger or from diseases that could easily be prevented. All children have a right to have parents.
4. WE WANT EVERY GIRL AND BOY IN THE WORLD TO GET AN EDUCATION FOR A BETTER START IN LIFE. WE WANT TO SEE ILLITERACY WIPED OUT. It is our future and we want to have a say in it. We want to be educated in such a way that we get the courage to speak our minds. We want a world without discrimination.
5. WE WANT VERY STRICT LAWS AGAINST DESTROYING NATURE. Anybody polluting the environment should have to pay large fines. Stop producing materials that harm the ozone layer or it will be broken and the sun's rays will burn us. Stop global warming, reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Cut the use of fossil fuels, use sun and wind power. Instead of drilling for more oil, use energy less wastefully.
6. WE WANT YOU TO STOP USING NUCLEAR POWER. End nuclear testing in our oceans and seas. We demand the removal of all nuclear power stations.
7. WE DON'T WANT OUR CITIES TO BE RUINED BY CARS. We don't want to be sick from exhaust fumes. We want you to make cars that don't pollute. Public transportation should be better, cheaper and more efficient than private cars. Make it easier for us all to use our bicycles.
8. WE DON'T WANT OUR WORLD TO DROWN IN RUBBISH. NOBODY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DUMP THEIR RUBBISH IN OTHER COUNTRIES. Stop littering, make less waste. We don't need all the packaging materials.
9. WE WOULD LIKE ALL THINGS TO BE RECYCLED. Make it easier for people to recycle their rubbish. Stop producing disposables.
10. PLEASE, LEADERS OF THE WORLD, GIVE US CLEAN DRINKING WATER. Without water there is no life. Too many children are drinking clayish water from shallow wells, pipe-borne water is still a luxury. Too many children spend hours walking a long way to find water.
11. WE FEAR THAT WHEN WE GROW UP THERE WILL BE NO FISH IN THE OCEAN. We want you to stop oil spills in the oceans, to stop factories from releasing their sewage and waste into rivers and lakes. The sea cannot absorb poison without being harmed.
12. ANIMALS HAVE AS MUCH RIGHT TO LIVE ON THIS EARTH AS WE DO. Protect endangered animals, stop buying products made from rare animals. People should be able to do without real fur coats, crocodile leather or jewelry from ivory. Ban animal testing for cosmetics, ban killing animals for sport.
13. WE WANT MORE DONE TO SAVE WHAT IS LEFT OF THE NATFVE FORESTS. The rainforests are home to many people and animals. We want indigenous peoples to be able to live by their own rules. Don't cut down all the native trees because the birds need homes, just like all the children in the world.
14. WE ARE AFRAID OF BEING SWEPT OFF THE FACE OF OUR COUNTRY BY THE APPROACHING DESERT. Stop bush-burning and overgrazing that is killing our trees and hurting our grassland vegetation. We want canals to be built alongside the main rivers to prevent flooding. Stop building large dams against people's wishes.
15. ALL HAVE A RIGHT TO LIVE IN PEACE. The money spent on military armaments should be spent on saving the planet. Instead of making bombs, improve the standard of living in the world.
16. THE EARTH IS A SINGLE COUNTRY, AND ALL PEOPLE ARE ITS CITIZENS. We have to share this planet, so don't be selfish. We want food to be shared so that everyone has enough. We want clean water and a home for all people. We are worried about pollution, war and children starving, while others donít appreciate the food they get. We are afraid that the world will soon belong only to the rich.
THIS EARTH IS MORE VALUABLE THAN ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD.
WE WANT ALL COUNTRIES TO WORK TOGETHER TO PROTECT IT.