SMUS at UN Earth Summit!


Tessa Owens, in grade 9, has been committed to communicating her concern about the environment for a long time. Three years ago she was acknowledged in the Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition for her essay about polar bears impacted by global warming.

Tessa’s Grade 6 Essay

This June she will have a chance to express those concerns and more in Brazil!

Tessa has been invited to attend the United Nations Earth Summit on Sustainable Development (or Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro. She will be the youngest member of the Canadian delegation travelling to Rio to share thoughts and ideas and to hear from other countries’ delegations with the goal of making recommendations to the United Nations. Tessa is working with We Canada, and as a part of her commitment as a delegate she needs to host three group dialogues / conversations within her local community (including her school).

The topics being discussed are:

Measuring What Matters. Focusing on Gross National Product may determine a lot about a country but what about measuring Gross National Happiness? How can we establish an efficient method to measure human welfare?

Getting the Prices Right. Let’s discuss how the Canadian government can eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and place an economy-wide price on carbon. What impact would that have?

Making Trade Fair. Examining Canada’s economic activity on a global scale to focus on ways to ensure that Canadian trade advances the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of other people and places around the world.

In 1992, Severn Suzuki spoke at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as a 12 year old. The video of her talk made an impact on the conference and reminded us all to think beyond our own generation and make decisions for the long term. The concept that youth have something to say, is not a new one at SMUS. Our classes are filled with students who are concerned and active citizens. An opportunity like this is an exciting one for all of us with something to say!

If you are interested in participating in these discussions which will happen on campus this Sunday evening from 6-8pm, Wednesday, May 9th from 6 – 8pm and Saturday, May 12 from 10:30-12:30, please contact for more information.


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