UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors Recognized For Putting Environment in the Spotlight

Nairobi, 25 November 2011 - UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors Gisele Bündchen and Don Cheadle have regularly used their celebrity appeal to bring environmental issues to the fore, and this month both were recognized for their passionate commitment to green causes.

Supermodel Gisele Bündchen has become the first recipient of the ‘Best Green International Celebrity’ at the International Green Awards held at the Natural History Museum in London on 24 November. She was acknowledged for using her media prominence to promote positive environmental behaviour.

Watch Gisele's Acceptance Video

Bündchen was appointed UNEP Goodwill Ambassador in 2009 to focus attention on some of the biggest threats facing the planet, such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, and environmental degradation. Leveraging her popularity, Bündchen became a key spokesperson for conservation during the 2010 United Nations Year of Biodiversity, and in 2011 drew attention to forest issues, including a contribution to fellow Goodwill Ambassador Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s book Forests and People.

The face that launched some of the world’s biggest fashion campaigns has now become the face of global environmental action. In addition to her activities as UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Bündchen finds everyday ways to share her environmental passions with the world. She maintains her own blog which educates and inspires visitors with information on a variety of environmental issues.

This 6th installment of the International Green Awards was themed around the rainforest to coincide with the UN 2011 International Year of Forests. The ceremony featured state of the art visual projections, including the UNEP film Branching Out for a Green Economy, which was shortlisted in the ‘Best Green Audio-Visual’ category.

UNEP’s popular World Environment Day (WED) Challenge was nominated in the ‘Best Green Cross Platform Digital Media Solution’ category. The campaign pitted celebrities against each other in an online competition to encourage members of the public to take up a green activity for WED on 5 June. The challenge saw Bündchen go head-to-head with fellow UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Don Cheadle in a bid to rally the biggest number of green activities worldwide. The sup[remodel narrowly edged out the actor in the competition by 52 votes to 48.

But despite conceding defeat in the WED challenge, Cheadle’s commitment to the causes of both human rights and global environmental sustainability has not gone unnoticed. Earlier this month, Opportunity Green awarded its 2nd Annual Eco Maverick Award to the actor based on his efforts to show how clean air, water and a thriving environment are human rights that should be safeguarded by individuals as well as companies and governments.

Cheadle, who was appointed a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador in 2010, owns a solar-powered home and as an avid golfer, is now the spokesperson for Dixon Earth; a company that recycles golf balls - the first of its kind.

For more information, please contact:
UNEP Newsdesk on Tel. +254207625022 or Email: unepnewsdesk@unep.org

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