The 2010 Chinese Children's Painting Competition, organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), broke all records with 2.6 million entrants this year, up from 2.3 million last year.
With a focus on the theme of 'Biodiversity,' children from 34 provinces, municipalities and other regions in China participated in the competition – with the youngest being a mere six years old and the oldest 14.
In a final selection of the winners today in the National Art Museum in Beijing, a panel of 15 judges, including Liz Rihoy, chair of the Organizing Committee of the Competition, chose the 620 winners whose names will be announced in a ceremony on World Environment Day on 5 June in Beijing.
Two of the judges, Yang Miaoshuo and Zhou Yue, are children themselves and won first prize during last year's competition. Also among the big names comprising the judging panel were the WWF advisor on Biodiversity, Liu Xueyan, Chief of the News Department of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, the Deputy Chief of China Environment Newspaper, and Mr Fan Di'an, the curator of China's National Art Museum, among others.
The top winners will also compete in the global Children's Painting Competition which will be held in Japan on 6 May, and will visit UNEP's Headquarters in Nairobi (Kenya) later this year.
The competition – sponsored by Mr. Luo Hong, a Chinese businessman, environmentalist and photographer – aims to raise awareness on environment issues among China's young people and the Chinese public in general.