Winners of UNEP International Childrens Painting Competition Awarded at First UN Environment Assembly

Nairobi, 24 June 2014 - The first-ever UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) - with more than 1,300 participants from around the world and numerous colourful exhibits and events - was the backdrop to UNEP's 23rd annual International Children's Painting Competition, which has inspired people around the globe to see the environment through the eyes of the world's children for more than two decades.

The winning painting, by Sami Khan, 13, of the United States.

This year, the competition focused on the theme of Food Waste in support of UNEP's "Think Eat Save: Reduce your Footprint" campaign. The top eight global winners were awarded last night during a ceremony attended by Kenya's First Lady, H.E. Margaret Kenyatta.

Also attending the ceremony were H.E. Ms. Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary of the Environment, Water and Natural Resources of Kenya; Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director; Tomoko Yano, Executive Officer for the Foundation for Global Peace and Environment; and Hideo Yamazaki of the Nikon Corporation.

Kenya's First Lady, H.E. Margaret Kenyatta and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner with
the Painting Competition winners

The International Children's Painting Competition has been held since 1991 and has attracted over 3,000,000 paintings from over 100 countries. Participants must be between the ages of 6 and 14. The competition encourages children to focus on particular environmental issues and how these issues affect their communities.

In addition to global winners, six regional winners are awarded each year.

This year, the winners were chosen from over 65,000 entries. The first prize global winner was Sami Khan, 13, of the United States, while the second prize global winner was Ada Maria Ciontu, 13, of Romania.

In addition, six regional winners were chosen:

Europe: Panna Kvell, 13

West Asia: Jancita Travasso, 13

Latin America and the Caribbean: Maria Jose Labastida Albisua, 13

North America: Jiade Guo, 13

Asia and the Pacific: Kandage Kiyara Chenuli Perera, 9

Africa: Dennis Machira Gichuki, 13

One of the goals of the painting competition is to increase environmental awareness and action among children. Winners continue to engage in environmental activities in their schools and communities, encouraging young people around them to make a difference as well.

Note to Editors:

For more information on UNEP activities for young people, visit:

About the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)

UNEA is the highest-level UN body ever convened on the environment, enjoying universal membership of all 193 UN member states as well as other stakeholder groups. With this wide reach into the legislative, financial and development arenas, the new body presents a ground-breaking platform for leadership on global environmental policy. UNEA boasts over 1200 participants, 170 national delegations, 80 ministers and 40 events during the five-day event from 23 to 27 June 2014 at UNEP's HQ in Nairobi, Kenya.

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