Children Turn to the Canvas with Witty and Sobering Art to Empower Action on Climate Change. United Nations Environment Programme Honours Winners of its 16th International Children''s Painting Competition. World Environment Day 2007

Nairobi/Tromso, 31 May 2007-The world as an umbrella turned inside out by a powerful storm, while gripped by a dark almost diabolic-looking figure is the winning art work for the 16th International Children''s'' Painting Competition on the Environment it was announced today.

The work, by 12 year-old Charlie Sullivan of the United Kingdom, echoes to this year''s theme of climate change under the slogan Melting Ice-A Hot Topic?Miss Sullivan will be joined by the joint second prize winners - 12 year-old Ekaterina Nishchuk of Russia and 13 year-old Petkova Polina Zdravkova of Bulgaria - at the main World Environment Day (WED) celebrations hosted closed to the Arctic circle in the Tromso, Norway.Miss Nishchuk was chosen for her witty image of a polar bear - the animal is seen standing under a hot sun, peeling off its white fur down to its trunks while atop a perilously small, wasted ice-berg.

Miss Zdravkova''s painting is of a melting world, apparently dripping tears into the black abyss of space.The global winners will be joined by Crown Prince Haakon of Norway,unep Executive Director Achim Steiner and the competition''s six regional winners at the Tromso Museum on 3 June.The regional winners, also announced today, are:- Asia and the Pacific, Angie Chan (China), 11 years old.Africa, Guy Nindorera (Burundi), 12.Europe, Maria Mykolaivna Oliynyk (Ukraine), 12.Latin America and the Caribbean, Arvind Paragsingh (Suriname), 11. North America, Juliana Wu (United States of America), 12.West Asia. Ebtihal Ali Al-Shaikh Mohamed Mansoor (Bahrain), 13.Miss Sullivan of Godalming Surrey, a keen recycler of household waste who has also ridden her pony to school to save emissions from the family car, said: "I would like to express by my painting the need for everyone to act as if climate change is happening now. My wish on our planet is that everyone would take global warming seriously and think how their actions could destroy our planet and its very fragile eco system".

The 16th International Children''s Painting Competition on the Environment organized in cooperation with the Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment (FGPE), Bayer AG and the Nikon Corporation, invited children to express their views about threats and solutions for Climate Change.The Competition has been held annually since 1990 and in that time has received over 180,000 entries from children in over 100 countries. This year''s competition was the biggest ever with 14,000 entries from 104 countries.Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General andunep''s Executive Director, said: "Climate change is underway and will impact every corner and community of the planet. This generation is witnessing the early stirrings of extreme weather events, melting ice and other climatic manifestations. But it is the children who will witness in their lifetimes the largest impacts if the world does not move to address this challenge"."The costs of acting now will be far less than the costs of delay. I would urge political leaders to see the world through the brush, pen strokes and paintings of these gifted children to ensure that these young peoples'' fears are not realized and their hopes fulfilled," he added.Tomoko Yano, Secretary General, Foundation for Global Peace and Environment (FGPE), said:" The Earth Summit in Rio was held in 1992, when we held the first exhibition of the children''s painting competition on the environment at the U.N. Headquarters in New York. The Summit''s message was that nothing less than a transformation of our attitudes and behaviors would bring about the necessary changes"."However, in these 15 years after the summit, the forests have still been reducing and the emission of the carbon dioxide has been increasing causing serious influences on the global climate. Now we sincerely hope that the children''s impressive paintings will re-inspire people around the world and encourage them to get together to live out our common dream: Save Our Precious Planet".While visiting Tromso, the children will learn more about the issues of climate change with experts in the field from the museum, Tromso University and the Norwegian Polar Institute.

The nine-winning paintings will also be exhibited at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo in addition to various venues in Japan, Germany, Norway, and other United Nations countries, as well as on the websites of the competition''s organizers."The children''s pictures are giving one common message to all other people: safeguard our planet Earth", said Werner Wenning, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer AG, and continues "We are very happy about the great popularity of the painting competition which is one of the important projects of Bayer''s partnership withunep. Sustainable development is an integral element of Bayer''s corporate policy and with our social commitment we strive to contribute to a good future for ourselves, our children and the coming generations." Mamoru Kajiwara, Managing Director, Member of the Board and Senior Executive Officer at Nikon said: "Last year was the first year for us to support this competition. I still remember feeling awed by the magnificent paintings. Participant applications this year have drastically increased compared to last year. Perhaps this is because the children feel that climate change is something that closely affects them. The wonderful works of art at this competition will help urge people around the world to protect the global environment."Notes for editors All paintings are available to view on the United Nations Environment Programme''s website Environment Day is celebrated annually on 5 June around the world. full programme of events in Norway can be found at hereFor more information, please contact: Nick Nuttall,unep Spokesperson, Office of the Executive Director, on Tel: 254 20 7623084, Mobile: 254 (0) 733 632755, or when traveling 41 79 596 57 37, e-mail: Theodore Oben, Head, Children and Youth Unit, Division of Communications and Public Information, on Tel: +254-020 7623262, Mobile: +254 (0) 724 255 247, Press Packets can be compiled and distributed to media in Tromso on June 3rd and can include:2007 Painting Competition Children''s Statements - List below… Pictures of WinnersPictures of the ArtAward Event ProgramSponsor StatementsTUNZA Book Information - Tore and the Town on Thin IceWinner''s Statements (for press packets only)