Primary Schools

First Place: Popova Marina

Davydovskaya Gymnasium, Russia

Dear Mr. UN Secretary-General

Dear Mr. UN Secretary-General,

I worry much about the environment. From magazine articles and TV reports one can see that our planet is in great danger. Humans ruin their health with bad habits, pollute water, air and land with technological waste and cut down more and more forests – the main source of oxygen. People consciously do everything to turn the beautiful Earth into the dirtiest and the most dangerous place to live on. It’s very sad!

It’s time to stop and think about the future generations. Will they live in a treeless desert or in a beautiful garden full of animals and birds? Surely people of all nationalities, young and old, rich and poor should unite their efforts to make this world cleaner and safer.

It’d be nice for every country to have its own ecological minister. Only the most responsible and honest people can be eco-ministers. All these ministers could form the powerful International Ecological Council with its own Ecological Court and the monitoring satellite center on the Earth’s orbit to control the state of air, land and water at any point of the planet. Everyone should observe the laws of the IEC and be responsible for crimes against the nature. Fines or imprisonment could be main punishments. For cutting down any forests a person or an organization must plant and grow three times as much wood as they cut. For littering in the street many kilograms of household rubbish must be collected and brought to the recycling center. The most active nature helpers can be awarded prizes and the title of the Honorable Earth Citizen.

It’d be great if scientists helped to solve some environmental problems. Using nanotechnologies they could invent the ecological material to replace timber and create edible or selfdissolving packaging. To avoid killing animals and birds scientists could learn to grow artificial protein identical to real meat. All harmful industries must work in special overorbital space stations with robots only and their waste can be broken down to harmless molecules by special processing.

In my ideal green world people ride nonpetrol flying cars and live in safe ecological houses with gardens on the roofs warmed and lit by solar energy. People use wireless electricity, create more national parks and ecological stations.

This beautiful dream can be true if the world leaders pay more attention to the ecological policy and finance ecological programmes and scientific research in this sphere. To my mind, ecology should be taught as a subject at every school or higher institution. And even at kindergartens little children should be told how to live in harmony with this beautiful world!

Truly yours,

Popova Marina




Second Place: Nourhan Meddah

Millbank Primary School, UK

We Must Act Now

Dear Mr. UN Secretary-General,

I am writing to you because I am curious to hear your opinions on my observations and suggestions on the global warming issue.

I have heard many scientists claim that global warming is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind. On the contrary, other scientists claim that this threat is being greatly exaggerated. The earth’s temperature has constantly fluctuated throughout history. Once the UK had a tropical climate and at other times the earth has gone through ice ages. Could we just be entering a warm period? Personally, I believe we are demolishing many nations’ cherished rainforests. We need to do something about it.

It is not fair that we criminalise poor countries for deforestation. They are forced to exploit their trees in order to service their debts and satisfy developed countries’ demands for their cheap goods. Most of the developed countries’ forests have been depleted. May I suggest that richer countries pay developing countries to preserve their forests, along with the indigenous people who have lived in these remote places for thousands of years? One per cent of the richer country’s GPD could be invested in the economies of poorer countries with rainforests. A group of developed countries such as America, Britan, China and Qatar could gather around with the countries that are willing to keep their rainforests, in exchange for this money. The fee will be paid based on a chart listing developed countries from rich to less advantaged. The scheme would be held on a “the richer the country, the more they pay” basis. If the country does not pay it will not be allowed to participate in international discussion (earth summits, etc.) and trade sanctions could be placed on them.

Children do not have enough influence in society and are rarely listened to on major issues. Despite our lack of life experience, we are aware enough to know that the current crop of adults who are making the decisions are not doing a good job. For many, their main motivation is making profits: to them the earth is a dead resource to be exploited, regardless of the future. As children, we have to educate ourselves about the real issues, as it will be us cleaning up the mess. Adults are more than capable of handling this issue, however they are not thinking of their actions.

Yours sincerely, Nourhan Meddah




Third Place: Kehkashan Basu

The Millennium School, Dubai



Dear Mr. UN Secretary-General,

‘IF’ is indeed a strange word. Do you know why?

If you had not kept the tap running while brushing your teeth as a child,

If you had considered melting of polar ice caps to be important three decades ago,

If you had not hunted the giant panda to near extinction,

If you had been serious about stopping the ivory trade,

If you had punished poachers dealing in tiger skins,

If you had not started using chlorofluorocarbons for refrigerants,

If you had stopped the developed nations from flouting the Montreal Protocol,

If you had stopped chemical bombs and napalm from being used in Vietnam and Iraq,

If you had stopped the ozone layer hole from getting bigger and bigger,

If you had listened, truly listened and not simply heard, Suzuki Severn’s concerns twenty years ago,

If you had halted the continuous genocide in African states ,

If you had listened to Mahatma Gandhi and stopped apartheid ,

If you had stopped the diversion of the Yangste and the resultant destruction of habitat,

If you had stopped the desertification and disappearance of the Aral Sea,

If you had taken action on the annual floods in Bangladesh and Thailand,

If you had stopped whaling and indiscriminate salmon fishing,

If you had prevented the Yamuna river from turning into a cesspool of waste,

If you had established a smooth supply chain of foodgrain distribution,

If you had stopped the politicians from creating the Somalian famine,

If you had laws to stop genetically modification of all our food,

If you had penalties in place for nations which allow foodgrains to rot,

If you had instituted harsh actions against female infanticide,

If you had provided equal opportunity for the girl child,

If you had not allowed nations to starve their children while spending millions on missiles,

If education had been made a birth right across the world,

If the colour of one’s skin did not matter,

If child labour was a punishable offence and not a flourishing third world custom,

If politicians and policy makers did not necessarily need to be fifty plus,

If oil was not more precious than blood,

THEN, Sir, I would not be writing to you now to act and save our planet.

Twenty years hence , I hope my child is able to write a thank you note to you on the occasion of Rio+40.

Back to the 2011-12 National Schools Essay Competition prize winners

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