Submissions Open: RCE Youth Climate Art Challenge

Calling all young eco-artists! Share your voice through art and inspire others to take action on the climate crisis. Unleash your creativity and have your work seen by a global audience!  

The Global RCE Service Centre at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) is now accepting submissions for its first RCE Youth Climate Art Challenge

We're looking for your creative works of art that capture the essence of engaging 'hearts, hands, or heads' - a notion that Scottish 19th century polymath and educational visionary Sir Patrick Geddes (1854 -1932) spoke about regarding the development of the concept of 'sustainability', spanning environment, society and community. These sub-themes will feature widely throughout the 12th Global RCE Conference, to be held online from 16-18 November, 2021. 

Submissions can be made for any of the following categories, with a focus on SDG 13 (Climate Action). Choose from: 

  • 'Hearts' - Show us one of your favourite places, tell us why you love it, and why it is under threat from climate change.   
  • 'Heads' - What would a climate-friendly home, school, or store (choose one) look like in your community? (What things would change? What things would stay the same?) 
  • 'Hands' - Show us what actions children, youth, adults and seniors can take together in your community to mitigate climate change. 

Show us what is already happening in your community, or instead show us what is possible!  

Entries can utilise any visual art medium - some ideas are photos, drawings, paintings, sketches, murals - the list is endless, however all submissions must be static (no animations) and limited to one frame/image of the artwork. You will also be given the option to write a caption to explain your submission and how it answers the question. 

There is also an opportunity to send us your work in progress (photos or videos of you working on your artwork) if you wish, to be featured in an upcoming video (this can be noted in the entry form).

All entries will be featured and celebrated on RCE online channels, as well as the 12th Global RCE Conference this November. This is your chance to present your creative piece to people all around the globe, and contribute to inspiring others to taking action towards the SDGs! 

Online submission must be done via the Submission Form by 30 September, 2021 (11:59pm JST).  





  • Bring awareness to the challenges faced due to climate change. 
  • Provide perspectives from youth on what a vision for the future can entail, and why it is important. 
  • Bring about understanding on how action can be taken on ESD and the SDGs, in particular in relation to addressing the climate crisis. 

Submissions must meet the following criteria: 

  • Participants must be aged 35 or younger by 30 September, 2021. 
  • Participants must be affiliated to an RCE within the Global RCE Network. Participants are encouraged to contact RCE focal points to inform them of their submission.
  • The number of entries per participant is unlimited. 
  • The artwork must not have previously been submitted for another contest. 

Submission Criteria 
Participants meeting the above-mentioned eligibility criteria must also meet the following submission criteria: 

  • Submissions must be in response to one of the categories listed above ('Hearts', 'Heads', or 'Hands') and answer the corresponding question listed underneath it. 
  • Submissions can take the form of any type of visual artwork (e.g. photos, drawings, paintings, sketches, murals, or other), however all submissions must be static (no animations) and limited to one frame.  
  • Submissions should be in a landscape orientation where possible, and ratio 16:9 (e.g. 768px width, 432px height) where possible. 
  • Please ensure the uploaded submission is a high resolution image of the artwork. 
  • Submissions must be the original work of the person submitting the artwork. 
  • Please ensure the image uploaded is clear and visible. 
  • Submissions are accepted in the following formats: PDF, JPG, JPEG, or PNG and must be downloadable. 
  • Optional captions may be entered in any language, however the organisers may contact the entrant to confirm translations, if not entered in English. 
  • Submissions must be received by the deadline, 30 September, 2021 (11:59pm JST). 

Judging Criteria 

  • Submissions will be judged based on creativity, originality, and its response to the category and question. 

Please note that by participating in this challenge, all entrants agree that their artwork/s, name, and captions can be featured in online promotional channels (including but not limited to websites, social media, email newsletters, Online Marketplace Exhibition in the 12th Global RCE Conference), in relation to this challenge. If you do not wish for your entry to be made public, please note this in the submission form. 

Format for submission and review 
Online submission must be done via the Submission Form by 30 September, 2021 (11:59pm JST). Apply here. **Entries are now closed.**

Entries will be featured on online channels and featured in the 12th Global RCE Conference this November.