Record Entries Received for Chinese Children's Painting Competition Wed, Apr 4, 2012

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Nairobi, 3 April 2012 - When the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Luo Hong Fund launched the Chinese Children's Painting Competition in 2008, little did they know that in the space of five years, some 2.28 million children would lift their paintbrushes to depict their hopes, fears and dreams relating to the environment.

Indeed, the total number of paintings submitted by children across China to the competition would cover 39 soccer pitches.

UNEP and the Luo Hong Fund (run by the Chinese entrepreneur and wildlife photographer Luo Hong) started the competition to promote environmental awareness among schoolchildren.  

Over 620,000 Chinese children submitted paintings and other artworks to the 2012 competition under the theme, The Green Homeland in My Mind.

A panel of judges has recently finished the daunting task of reviewing all the paintings received and the winners are set to be announced later this month.  

The painting competition is just one part of the Chinese Children's Environmental Education Programme, supported by UNEP and the Luo Hong Fund.

A programme on environmental awareness has been integrated into the school curriculum in China, reaching the classrooms of an estimated 12.6 million children since 2008. Additionally, just under 50,000 teachers have received training on the environment and sustainable development as part of the programme.

Each year, the Chinese Children's Environmental Education Programme designs a special course for the first-prize winners of the painting competition, which aims to equip them with the knowledge and confidence to become young environmental leaders and to encourage their peers to take an active interest in biodiversity, sustainable lifestyles and other issues.

Each year, the artworks submitted by the finalists in the painting competition are featured in an exhibition that travels across China. Companies and organizations including Beijing International Airport, Walmart, Panasonic, East Asia Bank, Parkson, the Capitol Building of Beijing and the World Trade Plaza have also displayed the paintings to their visitors and customers, meaning that a total of over 27.7 million people are thought to have viewed the paintings.

UNEP also organizes the annual International Children's Painting Competition for the Environment each year, in partnership with with the Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment (FGPE), Bayer and Nikon Corporation.

Winners from the Chinese competition are entered into the international contest.

Since 1991, the international competition has received more than 3 million entries from children in over 100 countries.

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