Panasonic Corporation held yesterday, 8 February, the award ceremony of "Eco Picture Diary Global Contest" which the company has been promoting with the aim to raise awareness of environmental issues and eco actions for the young generation, with the final nomination of national finalists attending the ceremony at UNESCO headquarters.

The "Eco-Picture Diary Contest" is a program developed globally as part of "Panasonic kids school" - Panasonic's next generation promotion support activity and education programs, which gives the children an opportunity to learn about environment issues and thinking about the eco action ideas to protect our planet in an easy-to-understand and playful way.

In the 2011 Eco Picture Diary Global Contest, around 130,000 works were submitted by children from 37 countries and regions, and their ideas are presented with vivid pictures and thoughtful expressions. The national winners of 29 countries attended the ceremony in Paris, where they were recognized in the various category prizes by the jury, which included UNESCO Artists for Peace Ms Patricia Velasquez and Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola and international specialists of environmental issues. The company's ambassador Ms. Sarah Brightman, had also been appointed UNESCO Artist for Peace on the same day, and attended the ceremony in that capacity as well as that of judge.

A special prize related to the UNESCO - Panasonic partnership activities called "World Heritage Eco Learning Program" was attributed to Ms Kendra Yunuar Rahma who participated in the program in Indonesia's World Heritage Ujung Kulon National Park.

Through this partnership, Panasonic promotes the environmental education for the next generation to raise awareness of the importance of the environment and World Heritage preservation. In 2011, 1700 children in 5 countries visited and engaged in the unique environmental activities at each World Heritage site. Panasonic will subsequently initiate this program in total of 10 countries, aiming to engage approximately 4,000 children by the end of 2012.

Panasonic and UNESCO World Heritage Centre entered into a strategic partnership agreement to promote sustainable development through World Heritage conservation and environmental education for the next generation on June 3rd, 2011. As the strategic partnership strengthens the relationship built on the successful collaboration over the years, Panasonic will continue to promote in 2012 the 40th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention through the World Heritage Eco Learning Program and various promotional events.

"I see this ceremony as an example of ‘soft power' -- this is joint public-private action to build more sustainable development for the century ahead," said Ms Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General. "Together, we have the power to change the world -- this begins by chosing the right words, by telling the right story on how we want the world to be,"she noted.

"Panasonic aims to be the "No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry" by 2018, its 100th anniversary. By putting the environment at the core of every part of its business, Panasonic is combining its environmental contributions with business growth. Panasonic will continue to promote the activities for environment protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage sites of outstanding universal value for future generations."said Laurent Abadie, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Panasonic Europe Ltd.

As reported at the press conference on the partnership on the same day, Panasonic's communication activities include Panasonic's sole sponsorship of "The World Heritage Special" aired on the National Geographic Channel in 183 countries and areas, and various communication activities featuring Ms. Sarah Brightman and her song "Shall Be Done". Also, at the UNESCO Headquarters, a super-wide 3D visual landscape created with 5 large screen plasma displays called "DIVE into World Heritage 3D" was shown to the participants and visitors-a magnificent world of majestic images of World Heritage including Grand Canyon, Stonehenge...

About World Heritage Eco Learning Program

Panasonic developed a unique program called the World Heritage Eco Learning Program, where school students can visit and participate in an interactive environment for learning about World Heritage conservation activities in cooperation with UNESCO and the World Heritage sites. The children can also experience the beauty and importance of the World Heritage as the treasures that the children are expected to inherit as to the next generation. During the course of the program at the heritage site, there a 3D video and photo shooting session is held, as well as a viewing of the World Heritage site in full HD 3D, shot by Panasonic HD 3D camera recorder. Also the students draw the World Heritage Eco Picture Diary to keep the learning from the visit into the diary, and to consider their own eco actions in a daily life. Approximately 4000 children will be engaged by the end of fiscal 2012.

About UNESCO - Panasonic Partnership