Nairobi, 5 June 2009 - The United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Office for Africa (UNEP-ROA) is today announcing the regional winners of the Eighteenth International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment to mark this year’s World Environment Day.
The regional winner, Ramy Gamal AbdelHamed AbdelRazik’s painting was selected by a jury composed of the representatives of the organizers out of 694 entries received by the Regional Office from 14 countries, representing all the regions in Africa.
Ramy, who is active member of the Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt said: “Going deep with my feelings, I imagine the drawing representing environment pollution and how to change it to pure nature. The drawing idea is to use two symbols; first is the “Unhealthy Earth”, full of pollution, which make it sad and ugly. The other symbol is “Foot” which is trying to eliminate pollution by kicking it out of earth and replace it by healthy environment that includes flowers and trees.” He added “ This will lead human to live a beautiful and nice life.”
As a regional winner, Ramy AbdelRazik will receive a cash prize US$ 1,000.
Mounkaila Goumandakoye, Regional Director of UNEP in Africa said: “Children are our future and often they are our conscience. They provide the enthusiasm, the vigour and the idealism that this world needs. One way in which we can listen to them is by giving them the opportunity to express themselves in art – and by taking their message seriously. It is quite evident that much change is needed to protect the environment and address the adverse impacts of climate change. We hope the winning entries will catalyze the world and adults to move ahead and take concrete steps to mitigate the effects of climate change.”
The theme of the 18th International Children’s competition “Climate change-Actions you can take” highlighted one of the most critical global challenges of our time and the need for individual action and political commitment to seal the deal in culmination of crucial negotiation for a more equitable and efficient climate regime at the Copenhagen Conference in December 2009.
Children, aged 5 - 14 across the world were invited to express their thoughts on the challenges of climate change and what they can do about it through the medium of art, by drawing and painting their vision of how each and everyone can lessen his foot print or minimize activities that adversely affect the climate.
Ms. Tomoko Yano, Secretary General of the Foundation for Global Peace and Environment, partnering with UNEP on this initiative said: “Among kinds of environmental problems, the climate change is the most serious and common issue influencing all lives and natures on the planet. We have to combine every effort and wisdom to confront the issue for future generations. Our children are exactly the future. They are very sensitive to feel the environmental conditions. We can see their gloom and fear for the future on their unique and creative paintings. On the other hand, they genuinely hope that their future is becoming brighter than they believe in. They strongly appeal to the global community and leaders that everyone should take actions now. We sincerely hope that people around the world will be encouraged by children’s paintings to work out a solution to our common threat, the climate change.”
UNEP, the Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment (FGPE), Bayer and Nikon, jointly organizes this annual competition.
“The deterioration of the global environment is becoming more serious year after year, and that casts dark clouds over our children and the coming generations”, says Yoshimichi Kawai, Director, Member of the Board and Executive Officer at Nikon Corporation. “This year Climate Change Conference (COP15) will take place in Copenhagen. We appeal, together with our partners, the importance of the global environmental preservation to people in the world through the children’s paintings, and we hope they will start taking an action to prevent climate change.”
The selection of the global winners will be made by a Jury comprised of representatives of all the organizers. These global winners will be announced on 20 August 2009 at the Tunza International children’s’ conference in Daejeon, Korea.
The global First Prize winner will receive a cash prize US$ 2,000. The regional and global winners will also receive an all expense paid trip to Tunza International Children Conference in Daejeon, Korea from 17 to 20 August.
A selection of winning paintings will be shown in exhibitions in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen from 7 to 18 December 2009. They will also be exhibited on the Internet and will be used for posters, post cards, calendars, and in publications.
Note to editors
About the competition
About 420 out of 694 entries received from all the regions in Africa, from 14 countries were qualified for this 18th International Children Painting Competition on the Environment.
The countries included The countries include Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Botswana, Congo, Uganda and Mali.
Each UNEP Regional Office (Bahrain, Bangkok, Geneva, Mexico City, Washington DC, and Nairobi) chooses regional winners and also submitted at least 100 paintings to the global selection.
This years painting competition attracted over 19,000 entries from 89 countries. Eventually all paintings submitted to the global competition will be held at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan.
The painting competition has been held since 1990 and in that has received over 200,000 entries from children in over 100 countries.
The International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment is part of UNEP's TUNZA strategy for children and youth. TUNZA is a word in Kiswahili that means to “treat with care”. The programme aims to increase young people’s involvement in environmental issues so that they can take actions and inspire others to act for a better world.
About the partners
The cooperation of UNEP and Bayer has been in place for over a decade and covers organizing competitions for World Environment Day, supporting conferences and providing opportunities for young people to participate in environmental study tours and international learning forums.
For More Information Please Contact: Nick Nuttall, Spokesperson, United Nation Environment Programme on Tel: 254 20 7623084, Mobile: 254 (0) 733 632755, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Angèle Luh- Sy, Information Officers at the Regional Office for Africa, on Tel: 254 20 7624292, Mobile: 254 (0) 722 429 770; E-mail: Angele.Luh@unep.org