Celebrities Gisele Bundchen, Don Cheadle, Yaya Toure and Ian Somerhalder Issue Call to Action for World Environment Day Thu, Apr 24, 2014

Nairobi, 24 April 2014 - Supermodel Gisele Bündchen, Actors Don Cheadle and Ian Somerhalder and footballer Yaya Touré - all UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors - have launched a challenge to see who can rally the most registered activities for World Environment Day 2014.

Their call to action, Message in the Bottle, asks individuals around the world to join one of the celebrities' teams and make a difference by pledging to take action in support of World Environment Day, which culminates globally on 5 June. These pledges can be registered at wedchallenge.com

The campaign features a variety of Public Service Announcements in 7 languages which will run on CNN, large format billboards in Times Square in New York City and Piccadilly Circus in London, and on-line. (To view the videos, please visit


In a unique creative approach, viewers get to see Don Cheadle playing trumpet to prepare for his upcoming directorial debut and lead role as Miles Davis, Gisele practicing her beloved martial art, Kung Fu, and Yaya Touré getting mentally prepared for the run up to the World Cup.

"These global celebrities are giving fans a unique glimpse into the private moments that make them who they are," said Jeffrey Nachmanoff, director of the Public Service Announcements, screenwriter for the climate blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow and writer/director of Traitor and the CBS series Hostages.

"They are then interrupted in these moments by a message in the bottle which is an unexpected play on their roles and provides a twist that should get the viewer's attention and encourage them to want to go to the site to get involved," he added.

This is the second time that Nachmanoff has lent his talent to create a UNEP public service announcement, the first was for the Seal the Deal Climate Campaign in 2009. He worked alongside accomplished cinematographers, Jim and Nicole Whitaker on both UNEP projects. Game 7 Films of New York City produced the films.

Notably, the award-winning band The Police donated the sound track of the iconic song, Message in the Bottle, to support the campaign.

World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations' principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment.

Over the years, it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries. It's the "people's day" for doing something good for the environment, and for galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates a substantial positive impact on the planet.

In support of the UN's designation of 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States, WED 2014 has adopted Small Island Developing States as its theme in the broader context of climate change.

The objective is to encourage a greater understanding of the importance of SIDS and the urgency to help protect the islands in the face of growing risks and vulnerabilities, particularly as a result of climate change, and to demonstrate the connections between these ecosystems and ours.

From Trinidad and Tobago to Tonga, Samoa to Suriname, the problems that these small islands face - climate change, waste management, unsustainable consumption, degradation of natural resources, extreme natural disasters in the midst of overpopulation and continuing industrialization - are the problems that face us all.

For Small Island Developing States, climate change is foremost among these challenges, as global warming is causing ocean levels to rise.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global sea levels are rising at an increased rate. This is projected to be increase even further this century. When the global temperature warms, seawater expands and occupies more space. Sea levels also rise when polar ice melts.

Coastal communities in every country are then threatened with floods and storm surges, to which Small Island Developing States are the most exposed. Many of these islands' inhabited areas and cultural sites are potentially in danger of being lost to sea-level rise.

WED 2014 underscores that we all face similar challenges and are connected and united by a common goal: a sustainable and prosperous life for everyone on this planet. Every action, pledge, and activity counts and, when multiplied by a global chorus, becomes exponential in its impact. Make your voice heard and register at wedchallenge.com

How to Get Involved:

Each celebrity Goodwill Ambassador is championing his or her own cause in support of this year's WED theme, Raise Your Voice not the Sea Level. YOU can cast your own vote by pledging support to one of their activities at wedchallenge.com or on Twitter. You can also support via social media networks:


#WorldEnvironmentDay #WED2014 #WEDchallenge


GiseleBünchen Twitter account: @giseleofficial

Yaya TouréTwitter account: @Toure_yaya42

Don CheadleTwitter account: @IamDonCheadle

IanSomerhalder Twitter account: @iansomerhalder

Facebook/Google +

For #WorldEnvironmentDay this year Gisele Bündchen will work against food waste, Don Cheadle wants you to power down, Ian Somerhalder asks you to go greener and Yaya Touré to purge plastics. Which team will you join? #WEDchallenge

UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors have taken up #WorldEnvironmentDay challenge. How will you step up to the challenge? Join a team and register your activity!

Notes to Editors:

Upon request, behind-the-scenes footage is available of Don Cheadle playing trumpet with his band and Gisele Bündchen practicing Kung Fu with her instructor, Yao Li.

Available language versions are: Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Song credit

"Message In A Bottle"

Performed by The Police

Written by: Sting

Courtesy of SonyATV Music Publishing & Universal Music

By arrangement with Suzanne Hilleary for WACBIZ

Special thanks to Nicole VanGiesen & KSM, Inc.

In addition to the current campaign, UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors Don Cheadle and Ian Somerhalder will also feature in a groundbreaking series on the television channel Showtime, known as Years of Living Dangerously.

The series harnesses the power of the these and other celebrities - including Jessica Alba, Mark Bittman, Matt Damon, America Ferrera, Harrison Ford, Thomas Friedman, Michael C. Hall, Chris Hayes, Olivia Munn, M. Sanjayan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Lesley Stahl - to travel the globe as "celebrity investigators", uncovering the intimate experiences of people directly affected by climate change.

The first episode of the nine-part series can be viewed online at https://www.youtube.com/user/Years

Don Cheadle's episode can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh9lxyalVDY

A separate communiqué on this innovative series will be issued by UNEP in the coming weeks.

Learn more at http://yearsoflivingdangerously.com

For more information, contact: UNEPnewsdesk@unep.org

About UNEP

Created in 1972, UNEP's mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

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