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Young Environmental Artists Named North American Winners in United Nations International Children's Painting Competition

Bayer-Sponsored Exhibition Displays 77 Paintings at Children's Museum of Pittsburgh as Part of World Environment Day Activities

Submitted by: Bayer

Categories: Environment, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Jun 03, 2010 – 06:30 PM EST


PITTSBURGH, Jun. 03 /CSRwire/ - Sylvia Gong, an eighth grader at Hopkins Junior High School in Fremont, Calif., received the top North American prize in the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) 19th annual International Children's Painting Competition (ICPC). Her painting addresses the theme, "Biodiversity - Connecting with Nature."

Gong was honored at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh as Bayer Corporation and UNEP unveiled the 2010 ICPC Exhibition to herald World Environment Day celebrations in Pittsburgh, this year's North American host city.

Her first place award included a $1,000 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip for her and a chaperone to UNEP's TUNZA International Children's Conference in Nagoya, Japan, in October. While there, she will join the first place winners from UNEP's six global regions. This year, nearly 1.1 million paintings from 88 countries were received.

Also honored at the Pittsburgh exhibition were second place winner Angela Feng Xiao Ya Wei, a fourth grader at Parkwood Hills Elementary School in Ottawa, Ontario, and "Best in Pittsburgh" winner, Scott Robert Kerner, a sixth grader at McMurray Elementary School in McMurray, Pa.

The ICPC is a signature event of UNEP's annual World Environment Day celebrations. The painting competition is sponsored globally by Bayer AG and regionally in North America by Bayer Corporation. The ICPC Exhibition at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh is part of Bayer's sponsorship of the World Environment Day Youth Programs in Pittsburgh.

The 77-picture exhibition features the three winning paintings, including Gong's portrayal of a tiger grieving over a world where human activities are depleting resources. The winning paintings, on display through August 1, were selected from 945 submissions received from 17 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces.

"Bayer's partnership with UNEP is a cornerstone of our commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship," said Greg Babe, Bayer Corporation President and CEO and Co-Chair of the 2010 World Environment Day Steering Committee in Pittsburgh. "The ICPC fosters the next generation of environmental stewards and socially responsible citizens by inspiring children to express their environmental concerns through art."

In North America, Bayer Corporation's partnership with UNEP Regional Office for North America (RONA) is bringing ICPC to communities across the U.S. where Bayer, through its Making Science Make Sense® program, has partnerships with local school districts.

"Our partnership with Bayer Corporation is helping us provide students with a way to learn about the environmental issues facing the world, and to communicate powerful environmental messages through their artwork," said Amy Fraenkel, Director of UNEP RONA.

"The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh is honored to host this exhibition and be involved in the events surrounding World Environment Day," said Jane Werner, Executive Director, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. "We hope that this exhibition helps families continue to become more environmentally aware through the unique medium of painting and creative expression, just as we strive for this goal through other programs and policies here at the Children's Museum."

Established in 1991 and organized annually by partners UNEP, Bayer AG, Nikon and the Foundation for Global Peace and the Environment, the ICPC invites elementary and middle school students, ages six to 14, to learn about the environment and express that knowledge creatively through art. Regional winners are selected from UNEP's six regions including North America; Africa; Asia and the Pacific; West Asia; Latin America and the Caribbean; and Europe. They are announced during the six-week period between Earth Day in April and World Environment Day on June 5.

According to Tomoko Yano, Secretary General, Foundation for Global Peace and Environment, "Children's artworks attract us with their cheerful expression of the beauty of nature and ecosystems. On the other hand, they show the suffering of creatures living in a polluted sea or a depleting forest, illustrating the crisis of biodiversity. We hope their works will impact more people around the world, and encourage them to take actions so future generations can live in harmony together on the one and only planet Earth."

About World Environment Day
World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates world-wide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. With thousands of events in the six UNEP regions, World Environment Day is considered the largest environmental event of its kind. Both Bayer AG and Bayer Corporation are global and regional sponsors, respectively, of World Environment Day.

About Bayer Corporation and Making Science Make Sense®
Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international health care, nutrition and high-tech materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. Bayer products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time Bayer creates value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its role as a socially and ethically responsible corporate citizen. Economy, ecology and social responsibility are corporate policy objectives of equal rank. In North America, Bayer had 2009 net sales of approximately 7.7 billion euros (about $10.7 billion) and employed 16,300 at year end. For more information, go to www.bayerus.com.

Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS) is Bayer's award-winning, company-wide initiative that advances science literacy through hands-on, inquiry-based science education, employee volunteerism and a public education campaign. Currently, 12 Bayer sites around the country operate local MSMS programs, which together represent a national volunteer corps of more than 1,000 employees.

About United Nations Environment Programme
Established in 1972 following the United Nation's Conference on the Human Environment, UNEP's mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

About UNEP's Regional Office for North America (RONA)
The mission of UNEP's Regional Office for North America (RONA), which is located in Washington, D.C. and comprises Canada and the United States, is to: build support in the region for UNEP's work; to promote effective responses to international environmental challenges; and to foster cooperation on environmental issues between North America and the broader international community. To achieve this mission, RONA's strategy is to promote collaboration between UNEP and all sectors of North American society, including U.S. and Canadian governmental institutions, the private sector and civil society groups, and to provide UNEP with North American perspectives. For more information on UNEP RONA, go to: www.unep.org/rona.

About Bayer and UNEP
Bayer AG is the first company in the world to forge a long-term partnership with UNEP in the area of youth and environment. The partners first began cooperating on youth environmental projects in Asia in the late 1990s. In 2004, Bayer and UNEP signed a framework agreement to globalize this partnership that, in August 2007, was extended by another three years. The partners have jointly organized a dozen environmental projects for young people around the world, including the TUNZA International Youth and Children's Conference, regional youth networks, the Bayer Young Environmental Envoy Program, the science forum in Asia-Pacific Eco-Minds, the International Children's Painting Competition and the TUNZA Magazine. In addition, Bayer Corporation in the United States supports UNEP's World Environment Day activities in North America. Further information on the partnership between UNEP and Bayer is available on the Internet at: www.unep.bayer.com.

About Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
Children's Museum of Pittsburgh provides innovative museum experiences that inspire joy, curiosity and creativity. The Children's Museum is one of the largest Silver LEED certified museums in the country, and committed to promoting environmental stewardship to children and families through its exhibits and programs. It is located at 10 Children's Way on Allegheny Square on Pittsburgh's historic North Side. For more information, visit www.pittsburghkids.org.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

For more information, please contact:

Bryan Iams Head, Strategic & External Communications
Phone: (412) 777-5200
Fax: (412) 778-4430

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