Press releases

Wednesday 05 Nov 2003

The Environment through the Eyes of Children

Children are being urged to pick up their paint brushes to capture on canvas the beauty, romance and threats to the marine world. Today the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Foundation for Global Peace are launching the Thirteenth Global Painting Contest with the theme ‘Seas and Oceans’.

The Vivid Colours, Amazing Creatures and Environmental Calamities of the Oceans Themes for Thirteenth Global Painting Contest

Nairobi, 5 November 2003 - Children are being urged to pick up their paint brushes to capture on canvas the beauty, romance and threats to the marine world. Today the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Foundation for Global Peace are launching the Thirteenth Global Painting Contest with the theme ‘Seas and Oceans’.

The contest, in which children are asked to convey their vision for a cleaner, healthier and more environmentally-friendly world, is running until 29 February 2004. All entries will be archived at the National Museums of Ethnology in Japan.

Prizes will be awarded for the best 500 entries which will later be used in the production of postcards, a calendar, posters, publications and exhibitions worldwide.  Indeed, twelve of last year's winning paintings, representing the work of children from around the world, are being turned into posters. 

Klaus Toepfer, UNEP's Executive Director, said:  "Images have, since primitive times, been sources of inspiration and contemplation, able to reveal the joy and tragedy of humankind's place in the world.  From the pre-historic cave paintings of Lascaux in the French Pyrenees, the rock art of the ancient Sahara, the carvings of the Inuits, the tattoos of the Maoris, and the photos of more recent times, they have chronicled our relationship with nature, the spiritual world and ourselves.

"Through the International Painting Contest for Children, we are eager to see the visions, aspirations and creativity of children.  They are the future and can be inspirational teachers to each other and adults. Indeed, many parents tell me that it is through the actions of children, often through community, school projects and competitions like the painting contest, that they have come to understand environmental issues more deeply."

The annual painting competion last year attracted more than 12,000 entries from 60 countries.  From the winning entries selected, several will be used in the preparation of a Calendar for Children for the Year 2004.

The  three first prize winners of  the 2002 painting competition were:  Sompot Tongprathan, aged 13, Thailand, Kittisak Tepkoa aged 13 also of Thailand and Graure Loredana aged 14 of  Romania. There were 8 second place winners and 29 third place winners. 

Note to Editors:  The Foundation for  Global Peace and the Environment of Japan was founded in 1991 to work on wide-ranging global issues related to the environment, peace and sport.  Since its inception, the foundationhas been akey partner of UNEP's Children, Youth/Sport and the Environment Unit and has worked with UNEP to organize global environmental events and activities.

The sponsors of  this year's contest are all from Japan.  Among them are Honda Motors, Ajinomoto, Ricoh Unitechno, Fujitsu, Takara, Showa Note, Sun Star Stationery, Japan Toy Culture Foundation, OITA Yuki Center and OYC Corporation.

The contest is also being supported by National Museum or Ethnology, Japan, as well as Japanese Ministries including those of the Environment, Foreign Affairs, Education, Agriculture and Forestry and Fisheries.

For more information, current contest rules and information about previous winners, please contact:  Ms. Tomoko Yano, Secretary General, Foundation for Global Peace and Environment, 401 Hawamita Tsunazaka Bldg, 2-7-7, Mita, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 108, Japan; tel.: 81 3 5442 3161; fax:  81 3 5442 3431; email: fgpe@chilyu-e.com or see http://www.unep.org/ children_youth/kids/painting. htm

In Nairobi, please contact:  Eric Falt, UNEP Spokesperson and Director of the Division of Communications and Public Information:  Tel.:  254-20-623292, Mobile: +254-733- 682656,
E-mail:  eric.falt@unep.org  or Paul Okwaro, UNEP Children, Youth/Sport and Environment Unit; Tel.:  254-20-623148; Fax:  623927;  Mobile: +254-733-838410,  E-mail:  paul.okwaro@unep.org

UNEP News Release 2003/59

Wednesday 05 Nov 2003
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