UNEP Announces Winners of Global Children's Painting Competition
Nine-year-old Russian Wins Painting Competition on the Environment
Nairobi, 14 August 2009 - A nine-year-old girl from Siberia, Russia, has won this year's Global Painting Competition on the Environment, beating more than two million entries from around the world with her striking depiction of two planets.
Having grown up in Siberia, the most forested part of Russia, Ludmila Balovneva has always lived close to nature and she understands what its loss would represent. "I painted one happy Planet and a sad one. I'd like to make the Planet happy, clean and kind and then people, who are living on it, would be happy too. If it's dirty, the Planet is sad," she said.
Ludmila is one of the 2.4 million entrants to the 18th International Children's Painting Competition on the Environment, which saw participation from children from around the world aged 6 to 14. Eesha Chavan, 14, is the winner of the second prize in the global competition. Alice Fuzi Wang, 12, is the regional winner for North America; Li Pik Hei, 13, wins for Asia and the Pacific; Renzo Marsino, 14, is the winner for Latin America and the Caribbean; Ryan D'almeida, 14, is the winner for West Asia; Ramy Gamal Abd El Hamed Abd El Razik, 13, wins the regional prize for Africa and Patricia Isabel Jesus Santos, 14, wins for Europe.
The annual competition, which was launched in 1991 and has a growing following from children in over 100 countries, is jointly organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment, Bayer and Nikon Corporation.
This year's theme, Climate Change: our Challenge, highlights one of the most critical global challenges of our time. While focusing on climate change, the children's paintings describe not only the impact of global warming on our planet but also possible solutions such as the use of renewable energy and energy-saving light bulbs, car-pooling, using public transport, planting trees and keeping the Planet clean.
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP, said ''What we see in these paintings is that children are aware of the challenges facing the planet. Given the opportunity, they can contribute to solutions. We can all learn a great deal from the insight children have about our world and our responsibility.''