Let children save our planet – young artists depicting climate change problems were honored in the UN House in Moscow


“Childhood often holds a truth in its feeble fingers, which the grasp of manhood cannot retain,” – these words of John Ruskin now sound as relevant as never before.

On the 4th of March, the United Nations Office in the Russian Federation, together with the Young Peacekeepers Movement, awarded the winners of an unusual art contest called ’People in the face of climate change.’

The happy champions were welcomed in a festive conference hall decorated by their own drawings and pictures. Frode Mauring, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Russian Federation, personally congratulated the winners and encouraged them to further develop the active and caring attitude towards global environmental challenges.

Mr. Mauring emphasized he was very pleased to see such young citizens already aware of the dangers that the climate change, mainly caused by human activity, could bring to the planet. He also thanked the children for reflecting the problem “clearly and creatively” in their works.

Frankly speaking, prizes and awards were so numerous that the smallest kids could hardly carry all trophies on their own, and had to ask parents or teachers for help. In addition to all UN gifts, each winner got a unique colorful diploma signed by the Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova. That was indeed a pleasant surprise, so the children decided to make and send to Maria a collective photo of all the winners holding these beautiful diplomas in their hands.

The young artists were also filmed for a video spot, which is supposed to promote ecological awareness and environmental care. The promo is to be shown at an ecological film festival planned for this spring..

While discussing the courses and consequences of climate change and the influence of human activity on environment, which was done in a form of games, children, their parents, and teachers came to an important conclusion: every person’s contribution to the health of our planet counted. “No matter how much difference you think you are able to make, just go ahead and do what you can to protect and preserve the nature. You will be rewarded generously.” Well, this motto is probably worth being put in a frame on the first page of any biology schoolbook.

The United Nations in Russia initiated the competition at the end of 2009,, when the world was preparing for the Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen last December. The Young Peacekeepers Movement of Russia supported the idea, and invited schoolchildren from over 40 schools, involved in the movement, to participate with drawings and photos illustrating the topical issue of climate change.

It’s unbelievable, but by mid-January the jury received over 150 works, many accompanied with the participants’ essays. The jury included representatives of eight organizations, including: Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Russian Federation, UN Development Programme, UN Environment Programme, UN Information Centre in Moscow, Museum of Peacekeeping Operations in Russia, Moscow Union of Artists and International Federation of Artists, as well as Center for Environmental Policy and Culture in Moscow.

The winners and their pictures

Winners Image - children and the globe
Image - Polar bear and an ice floe
Image - the boy and the globe