Awards and Events                
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Awards and Events


UNEP Governing Council

The twenty-sixth session of the UNEP Governing Council will be held over four days, from 21 to 24 February 2011, including ministerial consultations from 21 to 23 February. The ministerial dialogue will be held in the context of UNEP’s contribution to the preparatory process for Rio+20, with a particular focus on the green economy and international environmental governance. The meeting will also consider and approve the UNEP biennial budget and programme of work for 2012- 2013, and discuss other issues including the state of the environment and chemicals management.


Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification

In August 2010 the United Nations launched the Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification, an initiative aimed at raising awareness and action to improve the protection and management of the world’s drylands. Drylands are home to one third of the world’s population and they face serious economic and environmental threats. Running through to December 2020, the Decade is the opportunity to make critical changes to secure the long-term ability of drylands to provide for humanity’s well-being.


Climate Change Conference in Cancún

From 29 November to 10 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico, will host the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 16) for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The climate change conference will also serve as the sixth COP for Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP). Representatives from 193 countries will come together to build on the Copenhagen Accord from COP 15 in 2009, and work out a global, fair and equitable agreement to address climate change.


St. Andrews Prize for the Environment

An innovative method of removing arsenic from groundwater without using chemicals has won this year’s St. Andrews Prize for the Environment. A team from Queen’s University, Belfast, addressed the alarming levels of arsenic contamination of water in West Bengal and established operations in six rural areas which now supply clean and arsenic-free water to the local populations. The St. Andrews Prize is an environmental initiative of the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and ConocoPhillips, an integrated energy company. The prize is awarded for original and innovative environmental ideas that are realistic and realizable and that take account of social and economic implications.


International Children’s Painting Competition

Fourteen-year-old Coco Tin Chi Ting from Hong Kong is the winner of UNEP’s nineteenth International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment. Hundreds of thousands of children from across the world entered the competition which was themed “Biodiversity: Connecting with Nature”. Coco said her winning painting was a warning about pollution and its effect on animals. She received $2,000 in prize money and an all-expenses-paid trip to collect her prize at the Tunza International Children’s Conference in Nagoya, Japan, in October.


The Zero Emisions Race

Four state-of-the-art electric vehicles set off from the United Nations Palais des Nations in Geneva in August on the longest and greenest race of all time. Teams from Australia, Germany, South Korea and Switzerland are driving hi-tech electric vehicles especially developed for the 30,000-kilometre zero emissions aroundthe- world race that ends in Geneva in January 2011. The brainchild of Louis Palmer, the first person to drive a solarpowered car around the world, the Zero Race aims to bring attention to renewable energy and clean technology.