Dr. Kinley Tenzin’s speech delivered at AIT’s 127th Convocation Ceremony

Dr. Kinley Tenzin, Executive Director of RSPN  spoke on the importance of environment conservation to the graduates at the AIT’s 127th Graduation Ceremony, Bangkok, Thailand on May 19,2017.


Dr. Kinley Tenzin’s speech

I wear this dress not to show my identity but to display the cultural diversity of our beautiful planet. How beautiful it is when we all come together for a common cause.

I would like to convey greetings from His Majesty the King and Queen of Bhutan, Royal Government of Bhutan and people of Bhutan to everyone here today and to the people of Thailand.

In fact; I have never worn this hat in my entire academic perusal because it always happened at the Universities when I am back home. But, I am extremely proud, happy and honored not only to wear this hat today but being part of this celebration; the 127th convocation day of one of the top International Institute in the world, AIT.

What an honor to see you all today in person; face to face; with our future leaders with a high caliber of intellect and wisdom.  President, eminent members of the AIT board of trustee, dignitaries, faculty, guests and parents; let’s congratulate and applaud the class of 2017.

I see a lot of energy, passion, and promises in each and every one of you. Energy and promises that you will never fail AIT and your country in particular as you embark on your new journey.

Let me take this opportunity to thank President Worsak Kanok Nukulchai, eminent members of the AIT board of trustee, distinguished public and private sector officials, faculty, guest and parents for making this dream come true for the graduates of 2017 and also for me.

You have started your journey in terms of securing yourself to lead a decent life. Some of you will do well and some of you may not. This is part of life. But what is most important in life is, you should not forget to apply what you have learned in your own self and at the same time teach what you know and learn what you don’t know so that you can lead by example and be an agent of change. Positive examples are needed today from every individual, mainly from young minds like you who can lead our people and bring change; a change for a better world.

There are a lot of areas that need agents of change. For example, look at the status of our environment. So much environmental disaster has already been caused because of the choices many countries make but it is not too late if we reinforce and work together and put our hopes and dreams into action. To this we need heroes who can help conserve and nurture our planet for all living beings. And today I see those heroes right here.

Ever since the human evolution started on our beautiful planet. We were at war, even today, because of our own greed and desire. We are destroying everything that is on the planet.

Therefore, as we all know very well; Humanity is on the cusp of making some important choices and decisions. Choices we make will decide how we share this beautiful planet with the rest of the species, and the world we will leave behind, for our children and grandchildren. The decision we take will determine the survival of our own species on this planet.

World first climate model paper published in 1967 turned exactly 50 years today. The groundbreaking research and climate model predicted Global Warming and we are witnessing today almost perfectly. Good scientific paper but not very good news for the world. The peril of climate change is no longer a prediction today but a reality. It is the single largest threat to the survival of humanity on this planet.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

In our profession, we are beginning to realize that our work around the world is not just saving tigers, corals reefs, deforestation, wetlands, pollution, extreme weather events, droughts and glacier melting, and so on but increasingly, it is about saving humanity.

  • According to WHO report; more than one in four deaths in children under the age of five are linked to the polluted environment.
  • Every year 1.7 million children die because of various environmental pollution and risks.
  • The frequency of natural disaster worldwide has doubled in just 35 years driven by climate and weather related hazards like flooding, tropical cyclone, and droughts.
  • 1.35 million People died as a result of disaster between 1996-2015, where Low and middle-income countries account for 90% of fatalities.
  • Studies have also shown that the largest impacts of the degraded and polluted environment are mostly felt by the most vulnerable and the poor.
  • And much more, both tangible and intangible, catastrophes are yet to come

So, what are we doing to save our planet?

  • The powerful and developed countries only want to build more power and wealth and eventually leading to more catastrophes.
  • Our average children’s all over the world are only taught how to play computer games in their mobiles phones. (one good example posted on Facebook; The average American children can recognize 1000 corporate logos but cannot identify 10 plants or animals native to their own region;
  • The average children in the world do not even know that many of our foods are grown in the agriculture fields. Many children still believe that foods are grown in the supermarkets.

My daughter still feels that the donkey which she sees in her mother’s village is a horse?

This is happening whether we like it or not. And this happening is not really positive and could destabilize the security of our future planet. We need to do something to drive change and that change should begin from each and every one of us here today.

Solving this environmental problem is not a question of politics; it is our moral duty, responsibility, and obligation. Now is our moment of action and that action should begin from you and us. If every individual here today takes this moral duties and responsibility at home with children, relatives, friends and colleagues; we will certainly make positive differences whether small or big.

“Tiny Tweaks lead to big changes” said Amy Cuddy, an American social psychologist and author of several books.

Let me this opportunity to thank AIT for showing solidarity to Bhutan and supporting 126 Masters, PhD and few undergraduates’ students as of 2016. They are all doing very well and many have even taken up important positions in the government and corporate offices. Thank you AIT once again.  My country (Bhutan), specifically RSPN look forward to such positive collaboration and partnership.

Let me again take this opportunity to pay my most humble tribute and respect to His Majesty the late king Bhumibol Adulyady for his immense love and care for people of Thailand and His Majesty the King Maha Vajralong korn following in his footstep. And also His Majesty the 4th King of Bhutan and His Majesty the 5th King of Bhutan for pioneering in conservation on this planet at this critical time of need.

Finally, I would like to end by urging you all; never to stop learning. Let me quote Charlie Munger, an American businessman with a net worth of USD 1.43 billion.

“You’re not going to get very far in life based on what you already know. You’re going to advance in life by what you’re going to learn after you leave here.”

Thank you, Thank you. My humble respect and heads off to all the graduates of 2017 once again.