From: UN Environment Piogramme (UNEP)
Published September 26, 2004 10:01 AM

With Splashes of Colour, Children Urged To Express Their Fears and Hopes for World's Cities

NAIROBI, 24 September 2004 - The majesty and misery of the world's cities will be at the heart of this year's International Children's Painting Competition on the Environment, sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment (FGPE) and Bayer AG, a German-based chemical and health-care company. The painting competition, the 14th of its kind, has been held since 1990 and has received over 160,000 entries from children in more than 150 countries.

The 2004-2005 competition will focus on the theme "Green Cities". For the first time, the competition will begin in each region of the world with participants being asked to submit their entries to the nearest UNEP Regional Office - in Thailand, Switzerland, Mexico, the United States, Bahrain or Kenya. Paintings may be submitted as hard copies or through the internet at The Painting Competition opens today, 24 September 2004. All paintings should be submitted to UNEP's Regional Offices before 31 January 2005.

Prize winners in each region will be announced on Earth Day, 22 April 2005 and the first-prizewinner, and their parent or guardian, will be funded to travel to San Francisco where the main international celebrations for World Environment Day will be held on 5 June 2005.

The winning paintings will be shown in exhibitions in a number of countries, including Japan, as well as being exhibited on the Internet. In addition, selected paintings will be used for posters, post cards, calendars, and publications. The regional and global winners will receive cash prizes of $1,000 and 2,000 respectively, and 100 commended entries in each region will receive certificates, plaques and other special prizes such as drawing kits and environmental stationery.

After the competition, all paintings submitted to the global competition will be stored in the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan.

This year's competition is supported by the National Museum of Ethnology (Japan), Japanese Ministries of the Environment, Foreign Affairs, Education, Forestry & Fisheries and the Japan-Arab Association.

In the past and on a continuing basis, UNEP has forged several partnerships and activities as part of its long-term strategy for engaging children and youth, called "Tunza".

From 26 to 29 July 2005, UNEP and the Aichi Prefectural Government of Japan will host the first Children's World Summit for the Environment in Toyohashi and Toyota cities, Japan. The Summit will bring together up to 1,000 children, aged 10 to 14 years, and adult chaperones to review the implications of environmental problems to their livelihood.

The Summit will endeavour to increase children's understanding of environmental issues through the sharing of experiences and opinions and will provide an opportunity for them to collectively voice their concerns for the environment. It will also inspire them to initiate and implement community environmental projects and to remove ethnic barriers while creating new relationships that will last well beyond the Summit.

For more information on the Summit, please visit the website

UNEP and Volvo have launched the 3rd "Volvo-UNEP Adventure for Young People". Young people between the ages of 10 and 16 years are being invited to participate in an exciting environmental educational programme. The Volvo Adventure is an environmental award that acknowledges environmental action taken by young people. It provides them with the chance of gaining international recognition for their local environmental projects and helps support environmental education in schools and local communities.

The criteria for entry into this competition is the submission of a write-up of the environmental project in which they are involved. Representatives of projects that are short-listed will be invited to a conference at Volvo headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden when a jury will select the best entrants. The three top entrants will receive grants of $10,000, 6,000 and 4,000 respectively to continue their environmental projects and will be invited to participate in UNEP's annual conference for children or youth. The cooperation between UNEP and Volvo began earlier this year. In May, they played host to their first joint event.

More information is available at

A third programme is the recently announced partnership between UNEP and Bayer to support youth and environment activities. These include support for the development and distribution of UNEP's flagship magazine for and by youth "Tunza", the organization of the Tunza International Youth Conference in Bangalore, India in October 2005, the International Children's Painting Competition on the Environment, the Bayer Young Environmental Envoys Programme and sub-regional youth networks in Asia and the Pacific, such as South Asia's Youth Environment Network, see



In Nairobi, please contact: Eric Falt, UNEP Spokesperson and Director of the Division of Communications and Public Information: Tel.: +254-20-62-3292, Mobile: +254-733-682656, E-mail:, or Nick Nuttall, UNEP Head of Media, on Tel: +254-20-62-3084, Mobile: +254-733-632755, E-mail:; or Theodore Oben, Head of UNEP's Children & Youth/Sport & Environment Unit, on Tel: +254-20-62-3262, Fax: +254-20-62-4350/3927, E-mail:

Or at Bayer, please contact: Mr. Steffen Kurzawa, Corporate Policy and Media Relations,

For the current rules for the International Painting Competition on the Environment, please visit: To learn more about the competition, please contact Ms. Tomoko Yano, Secretary-General, Foundation for Global Peace and Environment, tel: +81-3-5442-3161; fax: +81-3-5442-3431; email:

For more information on UNEP's youth and children's activities, please visit www.unep.orgt/tunza

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