More than 15,000 entries depicting concrete action against climate change
Nairobi/Wellington, 5 June 2008 - Gloria IP Tung, a fourteen-year old from Hong Kong, is the winner of the United Nations Environment Programme's 2008 International Children's Painting Competition.
Gloria received her award on World Environment Day from UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark at a ceremony in Wellington (New Zealand), along with the two global runners-up and five of the regional winners
An unprecedented 15,550 entries from 90 countries around the world were submitted for this year's award, which was on the theme 'Climate Change: Actions we can take now'. The children tackled the topic with flair and creativity, focusing on concrete actions such as using renewable energy, using public transport and planting trees.
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, said: "The impact of climate change on Earth is one of the biggest challenges the international community faces, and the inspiration provided by these children is wonderful to see."
As part of Wellington's World Environment Day celebrations, 64 of the paintings submitted from around the globe are being shown at the city's Te Papa museum before touring other venues around the world.
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said: "Art is a way for ideas to be expressed and thoughts provoked. In the past, art has inspired great changes in the world. So it is superb to see that so many young people around the globe have been inspired to give us their impression of actions we must take to reduce the impact of climate change."
The global second prize winners are Laura Paulina Tercero Araiza of Mexico and Sien Diem Siong of Malaysia. The six regional winners, also announced today, are:
- Maria Kassabian (Africa), 10 years old
- Adrian Lau Tsun Yin (Asia and the Pacific), 8 years old
- Evodkia Valli (Europe), 13 years old
- Murilo Hideki Ashiguti (Latin America & the Caribbean), 12 years old
- Cindy Liu (North America), 10 years old
- Colge Tejas Neel (West Asia), 12 years old
The painting competition was organized by UNEP, the Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment, and Bayer and Nikon. Since the annual competition began in 1991, more than 190,000 paintings from over 100 countries have been entered in the contest.
This year for the first time, China also held its own UNEP-backed Children's Painting Competition. The contest - sponsored by Mr. Luo Hong, a Chinese businessman, environmentalist and photographer - aimed to raise awareness on climate change issues among China's young people and the Chinese public in general. The top three winners of the Chinese painting competition are Huichun Fan, Fanglin Duan and Jiedi Chen.
Notes to Editors
All paintings are available to view on the United Nations Environment Programme's website www.unep.org
World Environment Day is celebrated annually on 5 June around the world: http://www.unep.org/wed/2008/english/
For More Information Please Contact Nick Nuttall, Spokesperson/Head of Media, UNEP on Tel: +254 20 7623084, Mobile: +254 733 632755 or +41 795965737, E-mail: email@example.com
Or Anne-France White, Associate Information Officer, at tel: +254 20 762 3088, Mobile: + 254 728600494, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statements from UNEP's partners for the Painting Competition:
Kawai Yoshimichi, Director, Member of the Board and Executive Officer at Nikon Corporation, said: "During the three years since Nikon first participated as a co-sponsor of this competition, climate change has come to be recognized as an increasingly big issue in every part of the world. In these urgent circumstances, we seriously consider these works sent from all over the world as important messages of children who will shoulder Earth's future, and we should take appropriate action to respond them."
Michael Walleneit, Deputy Senior Country Representative of Australia and New Zealand, Bayer AG, said: "The children's pictures are giving one common message to all other people: safeguard our planet Earth. We are very happy about the great popularity of the painting competition which is one of the important projects of Bayer's partnership with UNEP. Sustainable development is an integral element of Bayer's corporate policy and with our social commitment we strive to contribute to a good future for ourselves, our children and the coming generations."
Ms. Tomoko Yano, Secretary General of the Foundation for Global Peace and Environment, said: "Children's paintings always reflect the state of the crisis of the environmental destruction, expressing their sorrow with unique and creative ideas. At the same time, they show us various kinds of ways, what we should do or what we can do to preserve our Mother Planet for the future generations. We deeply wish that their genuine messages will move much more people around the world to take actions together for confronting our common threat, Climate Change."
Statements by the winners of the competition:
Gloria IP Tung (14 years old, China)
News on global warming is frequently seen, which shows that the problem is getting serious. Recently on the news they said that there won't be any winters in the future, which really frightened me. I have therefore taken the responsibility to work with others to save the Earth. I participated in the children's painting competition to express my thoughts on how we can do this.
In my painting I illustrated different ways for people to 'save' the world, such as use of public transport instead of one's own car and the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). My parents also taught my sister and me to be environmentally friendly when we were small. So we both know that we have a really important 'mission' to protect the environment. I hope we are able to solve the problem of climate change.
I want to study Art & Design in university and become an artist or designer one day. I will work hard towards my goal.
Laura Paulina Tercero Araiza (10 years old, Mexico)
2nd Prize Winner
I would like to encourage the use of energy from the sun as our every day power source because it is clean and practically endless. It would be great if we could just plug our devices into some sort of solar-powered source. My wish is to stop - or at least slow global warming soon. We should use energy from the sun wisely. I am involved in recycling and disposal activities at school. I would like to be a kindergarten teacher and would use this opportunity to sensitize children to environmental issues and inform them about actions they can take.
Sien Soon Tong (11 years old, Malaysia)
I was inspired by my school teachers who taught us about recycling to avoid pollution. I hope that everybody adheres to regulations regarding control and reduction of pollution. I did a lot of reading on pollution and its effects. I want to become a leader to encourage people to plant as many trees as possible, control air pollution levels and clean up the environment we leave in.
Colge Tejas Neel (12 years old, United Arab Emirates)
Regional Winner West Asia
Every other day I hear about global warming on T.V. channels, in newspapers, etc. I wanted to do something about preventing climate change, and I got a chance to express my inner feelings and thoughts about climate change through my painting.
I wish to contribute by campaigning for awareness for reduction of harmful emissions in the atmosphere and replacing the ozone layer by using fewer chemicals, reducing fuel consumption, replacing plastic bags for paper ones, reducing the depletion of water and electricity sources, using public transportation rather than individual cars and minimizing the use of air conditioners by using natural ventilators, etc. I participated in projects on global warming and public awareness through IDEA (Innovative Development Center for Educational Aptitude). I also participated in the Enviro-Spellathon in levels 1,2 and 3 (Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency..E.W.S.). I would like to become an automobile designer. I would like to study automobile engineering and improve and implement techniques to create new eco-friendly vehicles.
Maria Kassabian (10 years old, Nigeria)
Regional Winner Africa
In my painting I was trying to portray two options of alternative energy: Solar and wind. The gas emitted from cars and factories pollutes the air and causes global warming.
The solution is not to rely on gas any longer and to encourage the use of wind and solar energy. My dream is to save our very precious planet because we have no other place to go. I pray that our present leaders recognize the adverse effects, make wise decisions and take crucial measures immediately to save our planet.
Lau Tsun Yin (8 years old, China)
Regional Winner Asia and the Pacific
I have enjoyed painting and sports since I was five. I received information about this contest from my drawing school, Simply Art, and was very interested in entering the contest because I felt it was very important to spread the message to protect our world and environment.
I was inspired by many news reports about growing environmental problems around the world - climate change, pollution, waste. I think especially here at home, the pollution has prevented people from enjoying the beauty of Hong Kong's scenery, as there are always grey skies and lots of air pollution. I would really like to see more beautiful days in Hong Kong and Victoria Harbor with blue skies and bright sunshine, such as the scenery we see in books and on postcards.
My wish is that people around the world would join hands to save the environment. I think that every little bit can help; for example, switching the lights off when you don't need them, recycling plastic bottles, paper and cans, bringing your own recyclable bag when shopping, using showers when washing oneself, getting energy from solar panels, etc. Just like what I drew in my picture, many people are taking action to protect our environment. I think that only by working as a team will we succeed in making a difference. Even children can join together to help because we are the next generation and we should treasure our own natural environment.
I am involved in recycling plastic and paper - and encouraging others to do the same - and cultivating plants at school and home. At school I use day light in the classroom. I would like to become a doctor.
Murilo Hideki Ashiguti (12 years old, Brazil)
Regional Winner Latin America & the Carribean
I used colored pencil and paint for my painting. I thought of the world and all the actions people could take to reduce the temperature of the earth and fight global warming. Everyone can make a contribution, a small change in attitude, and this change can be implemented like a wave that spreads everywhere.
Cindy Liu (10 years old, USA)
Regional Winner: North America
I was inspired for my drawing by the information that I received about climate change from my school course, magazines and the internet. I realized the terrible results of climate change, especially in recent years. I understood that effective ways to control climate change include using renewable energy resources such as solar panels, windmills, dams or ethanol. I wanted to draw something that would catch everyone's attention and encourage the whole world to work together as one to fight against global warming. An eye surrounded by flags of various countries represents the world working together to control the root causes of climate change and doing something immediately and effectively.
I hope that everyone will pay more attention to the severe changes on our planet that climate change has already caused and may continue to cause in the future. Also, I wish that everyone would take action now so that we would have a better chance of fighting against global warming. I believe that we can make our earth more beautiful if we work together!
I am not sure what I want to be when I grow up. I think it is probably too early for me to decide on that right now. I wish I could do something art-related and use my drawings to arouse people's awareness about the environment. I hope I can to go to Wellesley College or Harvard University.
Evdokia Valli (13 years old, Greece)
Regional Winner Europe
I live in the town of Mytilini on the island of Lesbos. I was the best student in my class at the Fifth Gymnasium of Mytilini and have been painting since I was 6 years old. I participated in several national, regional and international competitions on various themes and have received prizes at some of them. I am very interested in the protection of nature, but also want to convey an optimistic message, as can be seen in my painting: the Earth definitely has a smile on its face! However, I am convinced that we must reduce the fumes and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. I love listening to music, especially rock, and am currently learning how to play the guitar. I like playing tennis, swimming, and I walk a lot.