What is JQA International Environmental Children's Drawing Contest?
Since 1999, Japan Quality Assurance Organization (JQA) and International Certification Organization Network (IQNet) have been hosting the JQA International Environmental Children’s Drawing Contest for children aged 7 to 15 years old from around the world, supported by UNICEF Tokyo Office.
So far, the contest has been held 21 times and this year we’ve had over 14,000 entries from a record breaking 80 countries and regions. In total, we have received more than 330,000 drawings up to now. Full of imagination and artistic sensitivity, children drew pictures about nature and animals, their families and the surrounding area. The pictures also contain the message towards global environment, beyond borders and differences in their background cultures and languages.
As the organizer, we hope that this contest provides the children an opportunity to think about the global environment, by expressing their inspiration from nature’s bounty. At the same time, we believe that the efforts to protecting the global environment will be further encouraged through the appreciation of such children’s drawings.
We received 14,689 pictures from 80 countries and regions on the theme of "Our Earth in 2030" for the 21st Contest. The year 2030 is the target for attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the UN Summit. Children around the world drew a picture of what they imagine the 2030 would look like. As an organizer, we are very happy so many children applied for the Contest. Thank you very much.
When applications for the 21st Contest opened, the deadline was May 2020. The COVID-19 however caused difficulties in receiving mails from many countries, so the deadline was extended by one year to May 2021. We were afraid that the ongoing situation, where no resolution is in sight about the pandemic, might have an impact on entries, but in the end, we received almost the same number of applications as in normal years.
I felt a strong desire of the children's drawings for the fortune of their families, animals, plants and all living creatures regardless of national or cultural differences. The drawings have no national borders. Even if we do not understand each other's languages, the message contained in the drawings enables us to realize that we have a mission to pass on the rich and abundant Earth to the next generations as a living being in the present time.
At JQA (Japan Quality Assurance Organization), our aim is to encourage the children of the world who are responsible for the future, through this Contest, to take a fresh look at how precious the nature surrounding them is and to deepen their understanding of the global environment. We also hope it could provide an opportunity to pass on the children's message about the global environment by holding an exhibition around the world, in addition to this collection of their works, letting as many people as possible learn the importance of the environment.
Finally, I would like to express my deep gratitude to all those who collaborated on this Contest: UNICEF personnel, staff of the embassies of each countries, everyone at IQNet, and the teachers educating children around the world.
Japan Quality Assurance Organization
The current times have proven more challenging with a lot of uncertainty for the world, but one thing is not uncertain, one thing we can always rely on: the never-ending capacity of children to dream for a better world. Through children's eyes and imagination, we receive clear and unmasked views of today's main problems as well as fresh and unbiased perception on appropriate actions. There is nothing like children's expressions of hopes and dreams, to bring in to focus for all of us, what is truly important in life.
Every year I have the opportunity to reconfirm the above through JQA International Environmental Children's Drawing Contest, cherished, sponsored and supported by the IQNet network. For me, it is much more than an official act as IQNet President. It is a refreshing and colorful exercise that contributes to a sense of optimism and for renewed awareness on my side. The key promise that IQNet makes to its Stakeholders is formulated by its organizational essence: "Together, we build value and trust around the world, for people and businesses, to create a sustainable future". JQA International Environmental Children's Drawing Contest fits perfectly with our essence as IQNet.
I would like to thank all the participants, parents, tutors and JQA personnel involved for their commitment, I know it was not easy this year, but with every step we create awareness for what is truly important for the future of the little ones.
The International Certification Network
Chairman of judging Committee
Painter, Japan Art Academy Membership, Emeritus Professor of Tokyo University of the Arts
Director, UNICEF Tokyo Office
Advisor, Nippon Association of Consumer Specialists
President, Japan Quality Assurance Organization
Senior Executive Board Director, Japan Quality Assurance Organization