Award-winning teen environmental activist Kehkashan Basu said on Friday ecologists should “not lose hope” in their battle to fight climate change, despite scepticism from world leaders including U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
“These are uncertain times, but I want to tell people to continue their work and not bother about it,” Ms. Basu, born in Dubai to Indian parents, told AFP in The Hague, where she was awarded the prestigious International Children’s Peace Prize.
World leaders, CEOs, negotiators and activists attending a U.N. conference earlier this month in Marrakesh voiced concern following the election of Mr. Trump, who has vowed to withdraw the U.S. from a hard-won global agreement on climate change.
“Do not stop what you’re doing. No matter what happens, we have to continue to save the planet,” the 16-year-old said shortly before being handed the prize at a glittering ceremony at a medieval banquet hall in the city.
Ms. Basu is being honoured for the work done by her child-run organisation Green Hope, based in the United Arab Emirates, which now has more than 1,000 volunteers in 10 countries around the world.
The ambitious teen founded Green Hope at the age of 12 and within four years managed several successful environmental projects, including planting 5,000 trees in Colombia, France, Mexico, Nepal, Oman and the United States.