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People

 

Li Bingbing, one of China’s most popular actresses, is well known for her achievements both on and off the screen. Throughout her life, Li has been involved in charitable efforts where she can “practice what she preaches” and promote the need to lead a responsible life. Although Li’s philanthropic efforts have included various causes, activities and beneficiaries over the years, she focuses on carbon emissions reduction and environmental protection.

On account of her widespread fame, Li’s calls to action have received tremendous support from the public. She has demonstrated personal environmental commitment through her L.O.V.E Green movement, which promotes an environmentally friendly, low-carbon lifestyle among her fans in China.

In addition to her own personal efforts, Li has partnered with numerous corporations to create change and make a positive environmental impact in China. She recently worked with Shenzhen Development Bank to promote a new line of environmentally friendly credit cards. She worked with Timberland Co. to unveil the “Green Great Wall”, which aims to plant at least two million trees in Northern China over a 10-year period. In 2008, she secured corporate donations and raised nearly $3 million for those in the earthquake-stricken areas of the Sichuan Province. A graduate of the Shanghai Drama Institute, Li Bingbing made her film debut in 1999 with the movie, Seventeen Years. In 2005, she starred in the romantic comedy film Waiting Alone, which received three Chinese Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress.

Last year, she visited Kenya to highlight the threat to elephants posed by a surge in ivory poaching and is at the head of efforts in her country to stem the demand. “It may surprise people to learn that one elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory,” she says.


 

Gisele Bündchen, among the world’s top supermodels, is recognized for her long-standing and passionate commitment to the environment. During her unprecedented modelling career, Gisele has been the face of countless global campaigns including: Apple Inc., Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabana, Louis Vuitton, Nivea, Givenchy, Versace, Victoria's Secret and Ralph Lauren. She is one of the most well-known models in the world, having appeared multiple times on covers and in editorials of many magazines. With a truly global reach, Gisele uses her fame to bring awareness about protecting the planet to people across continents and from all walks of life.

While growing up in Brazil, Gisele witnessed the beauty of nature, as well as the destruction of forests and its affect on the surrounding communities. Her involvement with socio-environmental causes began years ago when she spent time with an Indian tribe on the Xingu River in the Amazon Rainforest. During her visit, Gisele witnessed the problems faced by the tribe due to water pollution and deforestation.

From fashion to fanfare, Gisele finds a way to share her environmental passion in various aspects of her life. Aside from having designed a footwear line to raise awareness, she had a “green” blog with the aim of “reflecting on socio-environmental issues that we can do something about”. Gisele had also launched a cartoon called “Gisele and the Green Team” to inspire girls to be environmentally responsible. In May 2009, she hit the red carpet to co-host the Rainforest Alliance’s annual gala to honour leaders in sustainability and in 2014 she became a board member of the institution.

Gisele was designated a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme in 2009 and since then she has been helping the UN to call attention to environmental issues. In her role as a goodwill ambassador, she has been the face of a number of UN campaigns, and undertaken field missions in Brazil and Kenya.

 


 

Don Cheadle, an award-winning American actor, rose to prominence in the late 1990s and the early 2000s for his supporting roles in the Steven Soderbergh-directed films Out of Sight, Traffic, and global blockbuster, Ocean's Eleven. In 2004, his lead role as Rwandan hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina in the genocide drama film Hotel Rwanda earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He also starred in, and was one of the producers of Crash, which won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Picture.

Don was appointed a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on 5 June 2010, World Environment Day (WED). The designation was announced in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda during the global WED 2010 celebrations, where he took part in the traditional Kwita Izina gorilla-naming ceremony. The renowned actor's trip to Rwanda was especially meaningful given his ties to the country through his role in Hotel Rwanda.

He said, "I would love it if we were able to live in a world that is in harmony with its environment. But it is money over people, money over environment, money over everything. We need to educate people on the environment and draw clear connections now – it is not disparate pieces, it really is a chain of life. We have to connect the dots."

To take individual action where he can, Cheadle owns a solar home, uses filtered versus bottled water and drives a hybrid automobile.

 


 

Ian Somerhalder is an actor and environmentalist best known for his work in the Warner Brothers international hit TV Series The Vampire Diaries and the ABC critically acclaimed drama Lost. Ian has been supporting environmental causes for many years and, in 2010, launched the Ian Somerhalder Foundation.

Growing up in rural Louisiana, Ian was steeped in the magnificence of nature. So when the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill came ashore in 2010, Ian – the son of a building contractor and massage therapist in the small town of Covington, which lies close to coastal wetlands and marshes – was affected particularly strongly.

“What I assimilated through that experience stays with me every single day,” he told Our Planet. “I remember my feet planted into the ground as I surveyed the earth around me witnessing the unthinkable devastation caused by the spill, when it hit me: I was overcome with vulnerability. Everywhere around me echoed a sense of helplessness – from the creatures suffocating to the families drowning in debt and looking into their future with despair. I knew right then that I never wanted to feel this sense of absolute vulnerability again.”

The Ian Somerhalder Foundation makes up a large part of Ian’s philanthropic work, distributing funds and resources towards global environmental conservation, green energy development, deployment and educational tools. It also aims to create awareness about deforestation and supports efforts to end animal cruelty.

Ian’s most recent environmental project is the ground-breaking climate change documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously, produced by Titanic director, James Cameron. The series sends Ian and other celebrity correspondents to report on real-life stories of climate change from around the world.

 

Gnégnéri Yaya Touré, commonly known as Yaya Touré, is an Ivorian international football star who plays as a midfielder for Premier English League club, Manchester City, and the Côte d'Ivoire national team, The Elephants.

Touré is renowned for combining great vision, passing ability and power with technique. He began his playing career at Ivorian club ASEC Mimosas (Côte d’Ivoire), where he made his debut aged 18. He was voted African Footballer of the Year for 2011 and 2012.
When he is not in the field, Touré has an interest in social and environmental activities. He is supporting several youth associations and is involved in the protection of the forest in his country of origin.

"I became a UNEP goodwill ambassador to spread the message that poaching – and other forms of wildlife crime – is not only a betrayal of our responsibility to safeguard threatened species, but a serious threat to the security, political stability, economy, natural resources and cultural heritage of many countries," he said.

In 2007, Touré moved to Barcelona, playing over 100 matches for the club, and was part of the historic 2009 Barcelona team that won six trophies, including the Champions’ League, in one calendar year. Touré then moved to Manchester City in 2010.

Touré has a distinguished international career with 74 caps for Côte d'Ivoire, representing the team in their first appearance in a FIFA World Cup in the 2006 competition, and in 2010. His key strengths are his passing and shooting ability. He is known for immense physical presence, which is often combined with lung-bursting runs from midfield, and has consequently been referred to as a "human train" and a "colossus" by various pundits.