These are the winners of the 16th International Children’s’ Painting Competition on the Environment. This year’s theme was climate change.

un-winner.jpg

un3.jpgun2.jpg

The works speak for themselves, but the children who created them also wrote eloquent statements. The winner (top) is by 12 year-old Charlie Sullivan of the United Kingdom, who writes:

I would like to express by my painting the need for everyone to act as climate change is happening now. My inspiration came partly from another art competition I entered, the Global Canvas, where I learnt how the power of art can affect our views with just an image.

The silhouette of a figure in my painting represents government and global businesses idle hold over the world. In the background the reds, oranges and yellows represents the fossil fuel power plants and warming of the planet while those that could act use the umbrella to shelter behind. The umbrella pictures the world being turned inside out and upside down by the wind. Therefore we must all act to save the world from being polluted. Global warming is an issue that we can all do something about by the 3Rs; reduce, reuse and recycle.

My wish regarding climate change 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.

I am involved in protecting the environment both at home and at school. At home I help separate the household waste into different containers for recycling and our own compost. We recycle metal, glass, plastic and paper through a roadside pickup system set up by our local council. This helps to cut down the 600,000 tonnes of rubbish put into landfill every year in Surrey.

My school is very concerned about climate change and the effects it will have on our environment. In every classroom there are waste paper recycling containers that are emptied regularly at our recycling point. Compost is made from our apple cores and vegetable waste. This compost is rotted down and reused in the school garden and organic vegetable patch. Within our small garden we have a wildlife area, a willow sculpture I helped create and a pond, which has two wild ducks. Our year will be going to Somerset next month where as a part of the trip we will learn about the growing and weaving of willow.

In May the school takes part in the Golden Boot challenge where all the pupils and staff try to find alternative forms of transport other that using the car. This has led to the school having its own bicycle shed. I rode to school on my pony along with my next-door neighbor.

I would like to become either a designer or a member of the Household Cavalry.

Those are two very different occupations!

The joint second prize winners are 12-year-old Ekaterina Nishchuk of Russia (bottom left) and 13-year-old Petkova Polina Zdravkova of Bulgaria (bottom right).

Nishchuk writes:

Dear adults and children!
Don’t kill nature, don’t cut forests!
Forest is home for its inhabitants, it means fresh air!
Forest means affluent rivers!
Forest means balanced climate on Earth!

LET’S PROTECT NATURE — LET’S SECURE HEALTHY FUTURE ON THE PLANET!

My name is Ekaterina Nishchuk. I live in the Bolon village in Khabarovsk Region of Russia. We are a usual big Russian family — father, mother, brother Kolya, sister Nadyushka and me. I study in the 6th form and have worked for three years in the Bolon school forestry “Lesovichok” lead by our geography teacher Mariya Stepanovna Zhadan. I love nature very much, I like to draw, romance, read and don’t like idleness. I love our Khabarovsk forests, especially in autumn when there are many mushrooms, berries, when golden leaves swirl and brightly coloured bald peaks delight the eye.

In the forestry we do various things: plant trees in spring, gather herbs, keep environmental diaries — observe nature in different seasons. We issued leaflets “Fir-Tree” dedicated to conservation of fir-trees in new-year time and “Primrose” — dedicated to protection of primroses in spring and also leaflets “Let’s Protect Far-Eastern Forests From Fires”, “Birds of Amur Don’t Know Borders”, “Wintering Birds of the Khabarovsk Region”. We monitored the Far-Eastern stork nesting spots and a girl from our forestry was invited to Japan. We go on hiking, excursions, feed birds in winter and spring. We have eight environmental corners. We participated in the action “Let’s Protect Korean Cedar”.

Global warming is a complex word, but I think this means that it will be warm all over the world and this is not very good because some animals are used to warmth and others are used to cold. In our region we also feel the global warming impacts — frequent forest fires kill trees, animals and birds and there is no fresh air because of smoke. And last year meadows with bushes and birds’ nests were flooded with excessive water.

After Mariya Stepanovna told me about the Global Warming Painting Competition I thought it over for a long time what to draw. In the geography room at school we have the Khabarovsk region emblem with a white-chest bear. It came to my mind that global warming was pernicious for big animals and I remembered the “Umka” cartoon about a polar bear cub who got to Africa on an ice floe and felt very badly there.

When I grow up I will be a forester — I wish to protect our nature from devastation. I also wish that there is less timber-cutting and more tree-planting, that there is beautiful nature and fresh air.

Zdravkova is the terse one:

In my country Bulgaria there is four seasons — springs, summer, autumn and winter. But we are feeling that the climate is changing thus affecting the seasons.

I am afraid for the environment. I would like to protect the four seasons. I don’t want the seasons to change, which means we have to do more to take care of the environment.

These results were announced a while ago, but I only just found out about them — and Technorati indicates they have not gotten the attention they deserve. To see the six regional winners, go here.

This post was created for ClimateProgress.org, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.