Girl's green vision wins top prize
Painting by aspiring artist shows how simple actions can help protect the Earth
A Hong Kong girl studying in Australia has won the top prize in an international painting competition aimed at promoting environmental protection among young people.
Gloria Ip Tung, 14, a student at Presbyterian Ladies' College in Melbourne, received a US$2,000 cash prize as the winner of the United Nations Environment Programme's 2008 International Children's Painting Competition.
The theme of this year's contest was 'Climate Change: Actions We Can Take Now'. The organisers encouraged budding artists to demonstrate practical steps that could be taken to reverse global warming, such as using renewable energy, installing energy-saving light bulbs at home, taking public transport and planting trees.
Co-organised by the Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment, Bayer and Nikon, the competition attracted 15,550 entries from 90 countries.
Gloria's painting depicted people taking public transport and integrating the 'reduce, reuse and recycle' slogan into their everyday lives.
Gloria said she was inspired by things that happened in her daily life.
'I was truly moved by newspapers which depicted the adverse consequences of global warming, such as melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels,' she said. 'People's unwillingness to help save energy has always bothered me, so I had a strong desire to convey the importance of protecting the Earth through my painting.
'My old school in Hong Kong also taught me different energy-saving methods that provided inspiration for my painting.'
A passionate environmentalist, Gloria felt strongly about the grave problems afflicting the planet.
'I think the most urgent environmental issues are the melting ice caps and the holes in the ozone layer,' she said. 'Both problems can lead to dire consequences. Even small things like using more public transport and walking from one place to another can help tackle these issues.
'Vehicles release so much carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants that we really should not be selfish and think more about our future generations.'