Winner of International Children's Painting Competition announced
Nairobi, 12 August 2010 - It was a simple game of building blocks that inspired Coco TIN Chi Ting's world-beating painting. Today, on the United Nations International Youth Day, the 14-year-old from Hong Kong, China, was announced the global winner of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 19th International Children's Painting Competition, beating off stiff competition from hundreds of thousands of other children from across the world.
Coco said her winning painting was a warning about pollution and its effect on animals.
As the overall winner, she receives US$2,000 in prize money and an all-expenses-paid trip in October to the Tunza International Children's Conference in Nagoya, Japan, where she will formally receive her award.
The second global winner is 11-year-old Katherine Liu from the United States. She, along with six other regional winners, will receive US$1,000 and a trip to the Tunza conference in Japan.
"In my picture, a variety of animals are carved into blocks and on top perches a fragile glass Earth", explains Coco. "As the evil hand made of pollution tries to take blocks and destroy the tower, the good hand comes in and stops it. By doing this, the tower of blocks is saved, and the glass Earth stays intact. This shows that if we don't act now and protect the animals, the Earth will be shattered and destroyed."
The theme of this year's competition was Biodiversity: Connecting with Nature and the young artists - all between 6 and 14 years old - took on the challenge with impressive artistic flair. Images of giraffes and penguins aboard a steam train named the 'Green City Express', trees bursting with exotic birds and animals and a colourful cascade of wildlife emerging from planet Earth are among the winning paintings.
The painting competition is jointly organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment (FGPE), Bayer and Nikon. It has been held every year since 1991 and, in that time, has received over 3 million entries from children in over 100 countries. This year, there were 594,032 entries received from 95 countries.