This year MAP’s Children’s Mangrove Art Calendar Competition was interrupted by the COVID pandemic. This forced us to change the guidelines for the contest that we have produced over the past 19 years. Around the world, schools were closed, the youths isolated in their homes without much to do and teachers teaching remotely where possible In the face of these new and challenging constraints, we decided to conduct this contest in a different way, via expanded outreach to NGOs and schools, and by posting announcements in art-related online publications. A big change was our opening this year’s contest to all children globally, not only to children who lived in countries with mangroves.
This year we received digital art from 34 countries. As before, we received art from organizations that work for the protection of mangroves, such as Save Maldives, CiNVESTAV-Mexico, BEDS-Bangladesh, CMCN-China, and others. But we also received digital art from many kids who found out about the contest through the Internet via Google and online children’s art magazines where they saw our posted announcements.
This year’s contest mobilized organizations, communities, teachers, students and families around the world. Many who participated in the art competition became aware about the importance of mangrove ecosystems for the first time by viewing MAP’s educational videos on YouTube and information posted on MAP’s website. Globally, kids are surfing the Internet looking for creative things to do. This art contest about mangroves offered a creative outlet for children during these difficult times.