A cartoon symbolising the extinction of the rhino won top prize at the third The Thao & Van Hoa (Sports and Culture) newspaper's press caricature competition, which, this year, focused on the environment.

Ha Noi-based Tran Hai Nam was granted the Bamboo Dragon Cup for his Mieng Ghep Nguoc (Upside-down Piece) at the award ceremony on March 28.

The rhino cartoon was made in many parts, with the piece representing the rhino's head placed upside down. It was designed to remind people of the fact that the rhino is now extinct in Vietnam .

"The pieces are arranged in the wrong way, similar to the way people behave with the environment," said Nam .

"The competition is an interesting playing field for artists, especially for amateur painters who love cartoon like me," he said.

The competition received support from the Danish Embassy through its Cultural Development and Exchange Fund.

Danish Ambassador to Vietnam John Nielsen stressed at the launch of the competition that "cartoons are a humorous way to create interest and raise awareness about critical issues such as the environment".

"The fact that the environment was chosen as this year's theme is very relevant. Vietnam is facing a number of critical environmental issues due to rapid economic development and the effects of climate change," he said.

Vietnam is among the countries suffering the most from pollution and environmental damages, making it very important to focus on the problem.

Launched last November, the organising board received nearly 500 entries from amateur and professional painters throughout the country.

The artworks will be sold to raise money for the Vietnam News Agency's Agent Orange Pain Fund.-VNA