GENEVA and NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, March 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- From almost 600 entries submitted by young artists from over 50 different countries, 18-year-old Ka Yi Siu of Hong Kong SAR, China has been chosen as the winner of the World Wildlife Day 2021 International Youth Art Contest.
Ka Yi was selected as the winner for her stunning piece aptly entitled Balance Between Urban and Nature.
"Forests and livelihoods: sustaining people and planet", was the theme of this year's global competition hosted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
According to Danielle Kessler, Acting US Country Director for IFAW, "The range of global participants and the depth of skill and expression in this year's contest was extraordinary. Ka Yi's piece really resonated with the judges for its beautiful juxtaposition of both urban and rural elements that are so often closely intertwined in our everyday life. So many youth artists embrace their role as stewards of the natural world and we are delighted to provide them with a platform for that expression."
Ka Yi received official recognition as part of today's first-ever virtual celebration of World Wildlife Day.
CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero said "We congratulate Ka Yi for her inspirational illustration of the deep connection between people, particularly Indigenous and local communities, forest wildlife and forest ecosystems. We are truly grateful to all participants in this record-breaking contest for their submissions. The sheer number of entries this year emphatically shows the genuine passion of children and youth from around the world for forest communities and forest wildlife, and their wish for all stakeholders to improve our relationship with nature. We hope this year's entries will continue to inspire both future artists and the next generation of champions of conservation everywhere."
From vivid forest landscapes to radiant depictions of endangered wildlife, 13 semi-finalists from 11 countries were selected. The panel of judges included representatives from IFAW, CITES, and UNDP, as well as guest judges Australian Tiarn Garland, winner of the 2020 art contest, Kirsty Coventry, Zimbabwe's Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts, and Recreation, celebrated syndicated cartoonist Jim Toomey, and founders of Our Daily Planet, Monica Medina and Miroslava Korenha.
Per Midori Paxton, Head of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for UNDP, "Increasing investments in sustainable forest ecosystems and livelihoods represents one of the core components of UNDP's broader strategy to safeguard Nature and the wellbeing of our future generations. The winning artwork of this year's World Wildlife Day Youth Art Competition brilliantly captures this important link between forests and people, as well the inspiration and critical contributions that youth bring as stewards of our shared Planet."
The winning artwork as well as all the finalist's entries are currently viewable on the IFAW website.
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The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed in on 3 March 1973 and entered into force on 1 July 1975. With 183 Parties (182 countries + the European Union) it remains one of the world's most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through the regulation of international trade in over 36,000 species of wild animals and plants. CITES-listed species are used by people around the world in their daily lives for food health care, furniture, housing, tourist souvenirs, cosmetics or fashion. CITES seeks to ensure that international trade in such species is sustainable, legal and traceable and contributes to both the livelihoods of the communities that live closest to them and to national economies for a healthy planet and the prosperity of the people, in support to UN Sustainable Development Goals.
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is a global non-profit helping animals and people thrive together. We are experts and everyday people, working across seas, oceans, and in more than 40 countries around the world. We rescue, rehabilitate, and release animals, and we restore and protect their natural habitats. The problems we're up against are urgent and complicated. To solve them, we match fresh thinking with bold action. We partner with local communities, governments, non-governmental organizations, and businesses. Together, we pioneer new and innovative ways to help all species flourish. See how at ifaw.org.
About the United Nations' World Wildlife Day
On 20 December 2013, the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 3 March as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world's wild fauna and flora. The date is the day of the signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973. World Wildlife Day has quickly become the most prominent global annual event dedicated to wildlife. It is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the various challenges faced by these species. The day also reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.