Under the theme of "Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration", the 2022 World Wildlife Day International Youth Art contest focused on drawing attention to endangered as well as critically endangered wildlife while highlighting the power of conservation efforts to protect species biodiversity across the globe. Embracing their personal sense of stewardship and tapping into the immense creativity of global youth, their artwork gives inspiration and allows us to reflect on the steps we can take as one global community to implement solutions that conserve key species and ensure long-term health of their natural habitats.
Chinese youth artist Yanjun Mao, 13, was named winner of the World Wildlife Day 2022 International Youth Art contest with his piece entitled "Return Home". Yanjun’s piece depicted a medley of threatened animals in various habitats supported by a young child carefully nurturing the environment with life-giving water. Yanjun’s creative vision was profound and beautifully depicted, demonstrating that humans have a role to play in supporting biodiversity and habitat restoration. The image captured the attention of the judges who gave it the highest honor, no easy task with over 1,500 entries received from talented youth around the world. Congratulations to Yanjun and the finalists, as well as all who participated in the contest. This exquisite art from 58 countries inspires us to continue our mission to protect animals, people and the place we call home.