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California Teen Wins Top Global Prize In International Environmental Art Competition

Bayer, United Nations Environment Programme Launch 2014 Competition in North America

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By: United Nations Environment Programme

Pittsburgh, September 20, 2013 – Fremont, Calif. teenager Wesley Gong has been named the global second-place winner in the 2013 International Children's Painting Competition on the Environment (ICPC), sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its partners Bayer, Nikon and the Foundation for Global Peace and the Environment.

Gong, age 14, received his award at a special ceremony during the United Nations' annual Champions of the Earth celebration at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. Inspired by the theme, "Water: Where Does It Come From?," his winning painting depicts the conflicting realities of a lake and the many species that depend upon it, and how pollution in all forms threatens the water necessary to maintain that life.

"Wesley's insightful art work is a moving illustration of how the ICPC helps to develop the next generation of environmentalists who understand that they play a critical role in nurturing and sustaining Earth's health and one of its most precious resources – water," said Lauren Trocano, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility, Bayer Corporation.

"Through our partnership with UNEP's Regional Office for North America (RONA), we aim to reach today's students with that important message while fostering a love of art and science, a sense of social responsibility and a greater appreciation for the earth we all share."

As second-place global winner, Gong received $1,000 and his trip to the award ceremony on September 18. Joining him were first-place global winner Chiratchaya Kaeokamkong from Thailand, and the six UNEP regional winners, including Jessica Qiu (U.S.), Tina Doumit (Lebanon), Juan Diaz (Colombia), Ephraim Finapri (Nigeria), Nattamon Ninkham (Thailand) and Yevheniia Zakharchuk (Ukraine).

Amy Fraenkel, Director of UNEP RONA, added, "Throughout the world, water is a priority issue for UNEP, because reliable sources of clean water are essential for human health, development, and the global food supply. Through ICPC, UNEP and Bayer are providing young people like Wesley and the other top winners, the opportunity to express their hopes and concerns about water and other environment issues through art."

Call for Entries for 23rd Annual ICPC Competition

Bayer Corporation and the United Nations Environment Programme's Regional Office for North America also launched the 23rd annual ICPC for the 2013-14 school year. They issued a call for entries to all six- to 14-year-olds in the United States and Canada, inviting them to express their creativity and environmental awareness by participating in this year's competition.

The 2013-14 theme is "Wasting Our Food is Wasting Our Planet." The students' artworks are expected to focus on the responsibility we all have in reducing the enormous amount of food that is lost or wasted each year worldwide.

The ICPC asks elementary and middle school-aged children to explore the disconnect between the number of individuals who go hungry in the world versus the staggering amounts of food wasted globally. According to UNEP and its "Think.Eat.Save: Reduce Your Foodprint" campaign, about one-third of all food worldwide – or 1.3 billion tons -- gets lost or is wasted each year. In industrialized nations, like the United States and Canada, grocery stores and individuals discard around 300 million tons of food still fit for consumption -- an amount sufficient to feed the estimated 900 million people hungry in the world. See http://www.unep.org/wed/theme/.

Bayer's ICPC partnership with UNEP RONA is part of the company's national award-winning Making Science Make Sense® initiative that advances science literacy across the United States through inquiry-based, hands-on science learning, employee volunteerism and public education.

The free-style artwork for the ICPC must be submitted on either letter- or legal-size paper and can be created using crayons, colored pencils, watercolors, oils, etc. The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2014. Submissions must be received by the UNEP RONA office by that date. For complete entry rules and conditions, please visit www.BayerUS.com/MSMS.

The ICPC North American first-prize winner will receive two all-expense-paid trips. The first trip will be on June 5, 2014, to the World Environment Day North American host city (to be named) to help unveil the seventh annual North American ICPC exhibition. The second trip will be to a UNEP event (date and location to be confirmed). For more prize information, please visit www.BayerUS.com/MSMS.

 

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