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UNEP honors Chinese child painters

CNC report from Beijing
Added On July 18, 2013

The United Nations Environment Program, or the UNEP, has honored 17 Chinese children who've stood out in a painting competition.

The event, organized by the UN agency, is intended to improve awareness of eco-protection among children from the world's most populous nation.

Around 630,000 Chinese school children have participated in the 2013 Chinese Children's painting competition.

The theme of this year's competition is "A Water Scarce Planet".

This is already the sixth edition of the competition, which is organized by the UNEP. The aim is to promote green consciousness in China, especially among the young.

The award ceremony of this year's competition was held on Tuesday in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, where the UNEP head-office is located.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) ACHIM STEINER, Executive Director, UNEP:
"We want to tap in what adults underestimate and it's that children understand environment far more and impacts of human action on environment and give credits for. If you look at the paintings of 789 and 10-year-old children, the sophistication, the understanding intuition of our place within nature planet Earth is a very sophisticated one. We want to give them courage to believe in their power to make a difference, to take responsibility and I always say to these children you never know in 25 years' time, maybe, the executive director of the UNEP, it may be one of these children who participated in this painting competition."

The winners have shown not only their painting skills, but also their unique perceptions into the relation between human activity and environmental protection.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE) CHANG SHU, Winner:
"It's important to protect the world's resources including water. The environment is now in a crisis. I've learnt a lot here in Kenya about how people around the world try to protect water resources and I want to encourage my fellow Chinese to do the same."

Following the ceremony, the Chinese schoolchildren and their teachers visited the world-famous Maasai Mara wildlife reserve.

They also took part in a painting event with schoolchildren from Kenya's slums.