Young Chinese Painters Awarded in Special Ceremony at UNEP Headquarters ma, jul 16, 2012

The winners of the 5th Chinese Children's Painting Competition were joined by their peers from Kenya at an award ceremony in Nairobi.

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Over 620,000 Chinese children submitted artworks to the competition

Nairobi, 16 July 2012 - A wildlife photographer steadies his camera to snap a lake full of pink flamingoes, while a group of children plays with jovial giraffes and other brightly-coloured birds. Elsewhere, wind turbines spin behind young cyclists and pedestrians inside a giant recycling logo.

The winning pictures from the 2012 Chinese Children's Painting Competition show the beauty, quirks and challenges of the global environment through the eyes and imaginations of a talented group of 6 to 14 year-olds.

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

The young winners traveled from China to receive their prizes at a special ceremony held at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi today.

Following the presentation of the awards by UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, the children planted trees in the grounds of the UN compound in Gigiri. They were later joined by young people from the Mathare Community Education and Development Organization, based in Nairobi's Mathare slum, for a cross-cultural evening focusing on the environment.

The Chinese Children's Painting Competition, which began in 2008, is jointly run by UNEP and the Luo Hong Fund (founded by entrepreneur and wildlife photographer Luo Hong), with the aim of improving the environmental awareness of schoolchildren in China.

To date, more than 2.2 million entries have been submitted to the competition.

The painting contest is just one part of the Chinese Children's Environmental Education Programme, also 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.

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 competition finalists are featured in a traveling exhibition in 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 displayed the paintings to their visitors and customers. To date, more than 27 million people are thought to have viewed the paintings.

International Children's Painting Competition

At the award ceremony in Nairobi, UNEP also announced the first-prize winner of the 21st International Children's Painting Competition.

This is UNEP's flagship art and environment event, which children from across the world are eligible to enter. The winning entries from the Chinese contest are also entered into the international competition, which is organized by UNEP in partnership with the Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment (FGPE), Bayer and the Nikon Corporation.

This year's global first prize was awarded to 13-year-old Diana Fan from the USA, for her striking painting of a penguin. Her painting shows the animal gazing down at bright scenes of the deep ocean, green forests and wind turbines, amidst a snow-covered backdrop.

A total of 637,675 entries were received for this year's competition (the 21st edition), which includes submissions for the Chinese contest. Since 1991, the international competition has received more than 3 million entries from children in over 190 countries.

UNEP also used the Nairobi event to officially launch the start of the 22nd International Children's Painting Competition. In keeping with the 2013 UN International Year of Water Co-operation, the theme of the competition will be Water: Where Does it Come From?

For more information, please contact:

Bryan Coll, UNEP Newsdesk (Nairobi) on Tel. +254 207623088 / +254 731666214 or E-mail: unepnewsdesk@unep.org

 
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