Young Canadian talks about her love of nature with Pakistan

Young Canadian talks about her love of nature with Pakistan

By Mahnoor Hussain

2021-2022 Parks Canada Youth Ambassador

On July 8th, 2021, Parks Canada Youth Ambassador Mahnoor Hussain was invited to talk about her experiences with protecting nature and how she inspires other youth to do the same with “Expresso”, a news morning show based in Pakistan. 

The following is a translated transcript of a video interview originally conducted in Urdu.


Host: Now we are bringing you an exclusive guest who is a student in Canada and first time ever on a TV channel. Joining us all the way from Canada, she has had the privilege  to become a  Parks Canada Youth Ambassador to help create awareness for nature, safety and conservation. She is part of the 10th cohort of the program and she is representing Pakistan and Canada as a Youth Ambassador. She is a 4th year student in Public Health and Safety but her recent big achievement is that she has been selected as Parks Canada Youth Ambassador.

Other Host: Mahnoor is joining us all the way from Canada. Thank you so much Mahnoor for your time. First of all we would like to congratulate you, for representing the youth as an ambassador. First of all, let us know how you decided to apply for this role and why were you selected for this honour?

Mahnoor; Hi, Greetings, my name is Mahnoor. Thank you very much for inviting me, it’s a pleasure to talk to you. But how I took this role is something that I can’t explain, it was a lifelong journey for me. Since I was a child my mom and dad would take my siblings and me outdoors and wouldn’t let us sit in front of the screen.  Sometimes to the beach, for hiking or swimming. We used to stay outdoors a lot. Even after we moved to Canada they followed the same idea. Here we went for tree plantings, hiking, swimming, and all kinds of outdoors activities, which developed a keen interest in staying outdoors. We were not the typical kids who sat inside. That’s how the love for the outdoors had started for me.

Host: Ok, for me it is very impressive that the government endorses such a program. What a great approach to engage youth to not only protect the environment instead of damaging it, but also how it involves others in creating awareness and to work for the betterment of it. This work is not only a privilege for you but it is also challenging and demands a lot of responsibility from you. How do you see these responsibilities and how do you see this program which is apparently a great program?  

Mahnoor: Yes, absolutely! As you are aware, to engage youth is a big task and message here. We are trying to connect children and young adults with nature, our target group is youth up to 18-35 years of age. Our mandate is to involve diversity and inclusion, science and conservation in our work… Just like me or anyone like me from all over the world, like Pakistan, Bangladesh, China or wherever, to develop a connection between themselves and nature and that is our goal at Parks Canada.

Host: The work you are doing, who else is working with you? Is there any community?  How many people are you engaging with? 

Mahnoor: I myself and there are two other female youth ambassadors with me. We work together to convey this message all over Canada. Our audiences are country wide. We are working together at the national level.

Host: What a great work and a pleasure for all of us that you speak Urdu and are representing all of us in Canada nationwide! Now what are the unique ideas that you and no one else had in the past, that you thought you would implement as a Youth Ambassador? 

Mahnoor: Absolutely, even before this role, I always wanted to engage more women, girls like me and motivate them to step out and do their part. They can do big things. They can go camping, they can swim, they can kayak, and they can still accomplish anything they want to. I wanted to lead the way, so that they could look at me and say “if she can do this, why can’t I? We can do this too.” And I’m sure that in the future, God willing, there will be more girls like me. I can be the first to start this but we will see more women stepping forward to follow and we will be able to see more Pakistani girls.

Host: Canada is one of the countries where there are many different religions, cultures and languages. In such situations sometimes it’s hard to convey your message. How challenging is that for you to convey your message and make sure that they work with you to care for the environment?

Mahnoor: That’s true. Canada is a diverse country, there are different kinds of people here but we all learned, especially in this role. I learned how to communicate with others, how to use body language so that I can be more friendly in a way that even by looking at me they know that I am trying to help; I am trying to say something that is useful. How to cater to different community groups is part of the job. This is what I learned from this role.

Host: You are doing great work Mahnoor. Our prime minister has taken new initiatives to help the environment in Pakistan. Do you have any plans to come to Pakistan and help with these initiatives? Do you have any suggestions for him?

Mahnoor: Yes, absolutely! I just want to say that I am so proud of Pakistan for taking these initiatives to better the earth and specifically Imran Khan’s government. We sit here and watch in Canada and we are still amazed. So if I get the opportunity, I would definitely love to go to Pakistan. I have many suggestions for the Prime Minister himself!

Host: Well we would just love to congratulate your parents and you are doing a wonderful job at representing Canada and Pakistan so please keep going and keep it up!



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