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UNEP unveils winners of Chinese children painting competition


08:31, July 17, 2013

NAIROBI, July 16 (Xinhua) -- The 17 winners of the annual Chinese children painting competition were unveiled on Tuesday by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) in Nairobi.

An estimated 630,000 school children participated in the 2013 Chinese Children's painting competition organized by UNEP and the Luo Hong Foundation to capture the vision of a water scarce planet.

"The six years of UNEP's partnership with Luo Hong Foundation has provided a platform for children to express their desire for a clean and healthier environment. Children represents China's aspirations for environmental sustainability," UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner said during the awards ceremony.

UNEP supports the painting competition as part of its broader partnership with China to promote green consciousness among the population.

Steiner underscored the role of children and youth to raise awareness on pertinent environmental concerns including climate change, pollution and habitat loss.

"We need to listen to children's voices and include them in raising the visibility of environmental matters. The young ones have dreams and noble ideas on the future of environment," Steiner said.

The winners of 2013 children's painting competition showcased cutting edge artworks depicting a planet in peril as fresh water resources diminish rapidly.

An illustration of an auctioneer waving his hammer in the air as an excited crowd frantically thrusts wads of cash in the air to buy the last bottle of water left on earth- captures the magnitude of water scarcity globally.

Another painting shows a tiger, deer and antelope stampede around a drying lake as other thirsty wild animals hover in the background.

"Children as environmental ambassadors have touched many lives and changed mindsets through their paintings. They are change agents that will reinforce the need for China to strike a balance between economic development and environmental protection," Steiner told a delegation of Chinese school children and teachers.

He also said that humanity is threatened with severe hunger and water scarcity if unsustainable consumption patterns are not addressed.

"The seven billion people on this planet are having an impact on its ecological footprint. What should concerns us at this juncture are efforts to have clean air and water, protection of forests and marine resources," Steiner said.

He urged governments, industry and philanthropies to scale up activities that promote environmental sustainability.

Chinese government, enterprises and philanthropies have supported initiatives that raise awareness on environmental protection to the general public.

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