Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation will hold a ceremony to honor winners of its Eco Picture Diary Global Contest today in Kyoto, with children representing 33 countries attending. In Partnership with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre*, the ceremony is held in tandem with a series of events that take place in the historic city of Japan to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. The ceremony will kick start the two-day event Panasonic is hosting as part of the Panasonic Kids School educational support program. Tomorrow, the children will visit their Japanese peers to share their experiences in environmental protection under the UNESCO World Heritage Eco Learning Program.
Since Panasonic started the Eco Picture Diary Contest in Japan in 2008, it has quickly developed into a global event. In 2012, a record number of approximately 300,000 children from 51 countries and regions participated in the contest by sending in picture diaries with their activities and thoughts about environmental preservation. Panasonic held the first global award ceremony last February at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, inviting winners of the national-level competitions. For the second Eco Picture Diary Global Contest Ceremony, children representing 33 countries will gather on November 6 at Nijo Castle in Kyoto, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to make presentations on their unique eco activities. Kyoto City Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova will join the ceremony to honor the children. UNESCO Artist for Peace ambassador Sarah Brightman will also be on hand to present the trophies and award certificates to the children.
Panasonic's UNESCO World Heritage Eco Learning Program is designed to give children an opportunity to learn the importance of preserving the environment and World Heritage sites. Since it was launched in 2011, roughly 4,000 children from 10 countries took part in the program in the two years. On November 7, the children will visit Ryogaoka Elementary School in Kyoto and will have a cultural exchange meeting with their Japanese counterparts to compare notes on ecological activities. The eco learning program concludes with the children's visit to Kiyomizu Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage site in the ancient capital of Japan. There they will lend their hands to replace the temple's lights with energy-efficient LED bulbs, making their part of contribution to preserving the World Heritage site.
Panasonic aims to reach out to as many as 2 million children by 2018, the 100th anniversary of its founding, through its environmental education programs. To date, already more than 1 million children around the world have participated in the programs since 2009. To achieve this goal, Panasonic benefits from its partnership with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, which shares the same cause of fostering environmental awareness among the next generation.
* Panasonic and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre entered into a strategic partnership agreement on June 3, 2011 to promote sustainable development through World Heritage conservation and environmental education for the next generation.
■ Related URLs:
Panasonic Kids School: http://panasonic.net/citizenship/education/
"Panasonic × World Heritage" site: http://panasonic.net/worldheritage
Facebook page "The World Heritage with Panasonic":
■ Panasonic Kids School
"Kids school" is the collective name for children-oriented programs implemented by the Panasonic Group throughout the world to support the dreams and potential of children, who are the key to the future of Earth. Under the motto of "education and coexistence," Panasonic engages in various programs globally such as the Eco Picture Dairy, Eco Learning Program, UNECO World Heritage Eco Learning Program, Kid Witness News and Rope Jump in order to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.
■ Change Lights Campaign
Since July 2007, Panasonic has been conducting the ecological campaign at popular spots and traditional events across Japan to encourage people to replace traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs in an effort to raise awareness about global warming. In cooperation with the local people, the campaign is also planned this year at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo, historic villages of Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture and Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima, Hiroshima Prefecture.
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products in three business fields, consumer, components & devices, and solutions. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.85 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2012. Panasonic's stock is listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE: PC) Stock Exchanges. The company has the vision of becoming the No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry by the 100th year of its founding in 2018. For more information on Panasonic, its brand and commitment to sustainability, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/.
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