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14-year-old Chinese girl wins prize for the best painting worldwide on the theme of “Biodiversity”


International Children’s Painting Competition organized by UNEP and Bayer:

3.2 million entries from 95 countries – a new record / Bayer, UNEP and other partners present prizes in Japan to children from all over the world / Motto of the next competition: “Life in the Forests”

Nagoya / Leverkusen, – A dark hand, symbolizing the destruction of the environment, steals the building blocks of biodiversity in a game of dexterity, thus threatening the natural equilibrium. But Planet Earth can be saved, for example by using solar energy and wind power or by recycling, symbolized by a second hand. This is the message of the painting by 14-year-old Tin Chi Ting Coco from Hong Kong, who has been named the winner of the 19th International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment organized jointly by Bayer AG and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as part of their global partnership together with other project partners. The theme this time was “Biodiversity”. “If we don’t act now and protect the animals and our environment, the Earth will be shattered and destroyed,” is how the young Chinese girl sums up her message. She was presented with her prize during the International Children’s Environment Conference in Nagoya, Japan, along with 11-year-old Katherine Z. Liu from the United States, who took second place, and the regional winners.

The winner in Europe is 11-year-old Hanna Gall from Hungary. The African winner is 10-year-old Gowtham Vigneshwar from Kenya. Sylvia Gong, aged 13, from the United States, submitted the best entry in the North America region. The prize for Latin America and the Caribbean was won by 10-year-old Enrique Suarez Estrada from Mexico. The winning painting in the Western Asia region was sent in by 11-year-old Charlotte Petra Sakura Chalkley from the United Arab Emirates, and the Asia Pacific winner is Wigavee Rattamanee, aged eight, from Thailand.

Hans-Dieter Hausner, Senior Bayer Representative for Japan, presented the children with a sum of money and other prizes on behalf of the company along with representatives of UNEP and the other partners in the project, the Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment and Nikon. The winners have also received an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan, where they are attending the environment conference. “The painting competition is a true success story. So many children around the globe – from different cultures, religions and countries – take part every year. Furthermore, the children’s paintings can do something thousands of words would not be able to: They can open our eyes,” commented Hausner at the award ceremony.

The ceremony in Nagoya was attended by numerous politicians and representatives of environment organizations and by around 250 children from 40 countries. From October 20 to 26, 2010, in parallel to the UN conference on the protection of biodiversity taking place simultaneously in Nagoya, the children are exchanging experiences concerning the environment and environmental protection and discussing their ideas on the protection of species worldwide. The Children’s Conference (for children aged eight to 14) and the Youth Conference (for young people aged between 15 and 24) are held in alternate years and are the global environmental summit for the young generation. These conferences are also an integral part of the partnership between UNEP and Bayer that was formed in 2004. Bayer sponsors the conference as UNEP’s global partner in the area of Youth and the Environment.

Record number of entries

With the United Nations declaring 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity, this topic was chosen as the theme of the painting competition and proved highly popular. Some 600,000 girls and boys aged between six and 14 from 95 countries submitted paintings. In addition, a special Chinese painting competition, including campaigns in schools, was held in China with the support of a local partner. This attracted 2.6 million entries, taking the total number of entries to 3.2 million – an all-time record (2.4 million paintings were submitted from 89 countries in 2009). The 20 best paintings from China took part in the selection process of the 19th International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment. The winners were chosen by an independent jury consisting of representatives from UNEP, Bayer, the Foundation, Nikon and international art teachers.

An exhibition of high-quality prints of 60 or so selected paintings is currently on display in Nagoya. It has already been at the BayKomm Communication Center in Leverkusen and will go on a tour of various countries over the coming months.

Invitation to enter the 20th International Children’s Painting Competition
on the Environment: “Life in the Forests”

In keeping with the United Nations International Year of Forests, the motto for the 2011 painting competition is “Life in the Forests”. Children from all over the world who are between the ages of six and 14 on June 5, 2011 (World Environment Day) have until April 15, 2011 to submit their entries. The pictures must be in A3 or A4 format. The first and family names, age, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the entrant or his/her parent/legal guardian must be written on the back. There is no restriction on the painting materials used. The paintings must not be entered in any other painting competition. Entries must be sent by post to the responsible UNEP Regional Office. The address for European entries is:

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Regional Office for Europe
International Environment House, 11-13 Chemin des Anémones
1219 Châtelaine-Geneva

Further information on the Bayer-UNEP partnership is available at


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