Nairobi, October 2002 - Children from around the globe are being urged to paint their vision of a cleaner, healthier, fairer and more environmentally-friendly world.
The twelfth international painting contest, jointly organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Foundation for Global Peace and the Environment, Japan, has got underway. It started on 1 September and will continue until 31 January 2003. All entries will be archived at the National Museums of Ethnology, Japan.
"Preserve the Beautiful Oceans, Skies and Forests for the Future", is this year's theme. Prizes will be awarded for the best 500 entries, which will be used in the production of postcards, a calendar, posters, publications and exhibitions world-wide.
Indeed, ten of last year's winning paintings, representing the work of children from countries including India, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Japan, Finland and Argentina, are being turned into special cards. These should be available on-line and for sale in United Nations offices, such as New York and Geneva, in a matter of weeks. For more details of last year's winners and their work please go to http://www.unep.org/children_youth/kids/painting.htm
Klaus Toepfer, UNEP's Executive Director, said: " Images have, since primitive times, been sources of inspiration and contemplation able to reveal the joy and tragedy of humankind's place in the world. From the pre-historic cave paintings of Lascaux in the French Pyrenees, the rock art of the ancient Sahara, the carvings of the Inuits, the tattoos of the Maoris, and the photos of more recent times, they have chronicled our relationship with nature, the spiritual world and ourselves".
"Through the International Painting Contest for Children, we are eager to see the visions, aspirations and creativity of children. They are the future and can be inspirational teachers to each other and adults. Indeed many parents tell me that it is through the actions of children, often through community, school projects and competitions like the painting contest, that they have come to understand environmental issues more deeply," he said.
The annual painting competition last year attracted 9,043 entries from 51 countries. From the winning entries selected, several will be used in the preparation of a Calendar for Children for the Year 2004.
Notes To Editors: The Foundation for Global Peace and the Environment of Japan was founded in 1991 to work on wide-ranging global issues related to the environment, peace and sport. Since its inception, the Foundation has been a key partner of UNEP's Children, Youth/ Sport and the Environment Unit and has worked with UNEP to organize global environmental events and activities.
The sponsors of this year's contest are all from Japan. They are among others: Honda Motors, Ajinomoto, Ricoh Unitechno, Fujitsu, Takara, Showa Note, Sun Star Stationary, Japan Toy Culture Foundation, OITA Yuki Center and OYC Corporation.
The contest is also being supported by National Museum of Ethnology, Japan, as well as Japanese Ministries including those of the Environment, Foreign Affairs, Education, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
For More Information, Details of How to Enter and Previous Winners Work Please Contact: Ms Tomoko Yano, Secretary General, Foundation for Global Peace and Environment, 401 Hawamita Tsunazaka Bldg, 2-7-7, Mita, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 108, Japan. Tel: 81 3 5442 3161, Fax: 81 3 5442 3431, Email: email@example.com or see http://www.unep.org/children_youth/kids/painting.htm
In Nairobi, please contact: Eric Falt, UNEP Spokesperson and Director of the Division of Communications and Public Information, on Tel: 254 2 623292, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul Okwaro, UNEP Children, Youth/Sport and Environment Unit. Tel: 254 2 623148, Fax: 623927, Email: email@example.com
UNEP Information Note 2002/26