Washington: 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.