Winners of Chinese Painting Competition Awarded at UNEP wo, jul 13, 2011

Today, the top 18 winners of the Chinese Children's Painting Competition received their awards in the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Nairobi, 13 July 2011 Today, the top 18 winners of the Chinese Children's Painting Competition received their awards in the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

The competition, which in its fourth year, is organized by UNEP and the Luo Hong Fund and is held yearly in conjunction with UNEP's International Children's Painting Competition on the Environment.

In addition to receiving their rewards, the children were briefed on what they can do to help improve the environment and they planted trees in UNEP's headquarters as part of their commitment to reducing emissions.

"Your paintings show us that you understand the state of the planet and are using your creativity and the medium of painting to inspire all of us to be far more intelligent about the way we manage our one and only home," UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner told the children.

Since the competition started in 2008, the number of entries has grown significantly. This year saw over 580,000 entries from all over China with 3,020 winners on the theme: "Life in the Forest (Biodiversity)". Last year there were 560,000 paintings submitted and 620 winners on the theme: Biodiversity: Connecting with Nature. In comparison, when the competition started in 2008 there were only 200,000 entries.

As part of the competition, there is also an environmental educational programme that trains both teachers and students on leading environmental issues. From November 2010 to May 2011, some three million children in over 2,000 primary and secondary schools in China participated in classes around this year's theme of forests, bringing a total of 9.4 million young participants since the programme was started four years ago.

In addition, 12 teachers received environmental awards today and were among the 10,000 teachers who were trained this year, bringing a total of 30,000 teachers trained since 2008.

"China is made up of 9.6 million square kilometers which means in four years for every square kilometer we have now trained a young environmental leader," said Luo Hong, the Chair of the Luo Hong Fund and a UNEP Climate Hero, who attended today's awards ceremony.

Six children who participated in the environmental educational programme will participate in this year's UNEP Tunza International Children and Youth Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, from 27 September to 1 October. The conference will bring together 1,400 children and youth from over 100 countries to discuss the issues of sustainable lifestyles, Green Economy and the Roadmap to Rio+20.

 
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