Rio de Janeiro / Nairobi, 10 October 2012 - Young artists from across the world were honoured today at a special prize-giving ceremony in Brazil for the 21st International Children's Painting Competition on the Environment.
Twelve young people received prizes for their environmental artwork, having beaten over 630,000 other entries in the annual competition, which is run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Among the main prizewinners at the ceremony was 14-year-oldKa Mun Leong of Malaysia, who earned global second place in the competition for her colourful painting of a clock divided in two; one half showing pollution, fires and smoke-billowing factories, the rest depicting a clean river surrounded by trees and animals.
Ka Mun received a prize of US$1,000 and a trip to the Tunza International Youth Conference on the Environment in Dubai in January 2013. The Tunza conference is one of the world's biggest environmental summits for young people and is organized by UNEP.
Global first prize winner 13-year-old Diana Fan from the USA did not attend the award ceremony. Her top-ranked painting depicts a penguin combined with scenes of the deep ocean, forests and wind turbines.
Six regional winners were also rewarded at the event in Brazil: Atthaphon Wirotrat,Thailand (Asia Pacific), Cristina Iurie Durnea, Moldova (Europe), Waldir Hisashi Santana Tokuda, Brazil (Latin America and the Caribbean), Michelle Hau Tung Lai, Canada (North America) and Dariyush Jehangir Postwalla, Bahrain (West Asia). The regional winner for Africa, Carolina Ferreira of Cape Verde, did not attend the ceremony.
All regional winners receive US$1,000 and will also participate at the Tunza Conference in Dubai.
Parents of the prizewinners were also invited to the award ceremony, along with representatives of local art galleries and museums.
Children from across the world were invited to submit artworks on the topic of 'Green Communities' to the competition. From lions and humans playing a snooker match on a map of the Earth, to a team of animal doctors and nurses operating on a sick planet, the young artists tackled the theme with imagination and flair.
"From climate change to threatened species, these young artists depict in creative and inspiring ways the key environmental challenges facing their own communities, as well as their peers around the world," said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
"Through these colourful and poignant artworks, they demonstrate ways the need to build 'Green Communities' across the globe, where people are encouraged to lead more sustainable lives, use resources more efficiently, and play their part in ensuring inclusive sustainable development for all," he added.
The International Children's Painting Competition is UNEP's flagship art and environment event. Since 1991, it has received more than 3 million entries from children in over 190 countries.
The competition is organized in partnership with the Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment (FGPE), Bayer and the Nikon Corporation.
The search for the winners of the 22nd International Children's Painting Competition, which carries the theme Water: Where Does it Come From?, is already underway.
All young people between 6 and 14 years may enter the competition before 15 February 2013. Full details are available at: www.unep.org/tunza/children
UNEP has also unveiled the theme for the 23rd edition of the competition, which will be launched next year.
"Brazil will host two major sports events in the next few years?the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games," said Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson, who has been leading a team in sustainability discussions with the Government of Brazil and the organizers of both sports events.
"In order to support global awareness and action in support of environmental issues to the success of these two mass spectator events, UNEP is announcing today that the theme for the following 23rd International Children's Painting Competition will focus on sport and the environment," he added.
Notes to Editors:
A gallery of the winning paintings from the 21st International Children's Painting Competition available at: http://unep.org/tunza/children/21stcompetition.aspx
For more information on UNEP activities for young people, visit: www.unep.org/tunza
Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson and Head of Media on Tel. +41 795965737 / +254 733632755 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bryan Coll, UNEP Newsdesk, on Tel. +254 207623088 / +254 731666214 / E-mail: email@example.com