Messages from 2014
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador
Beauty is the driving force of my work as a photographer, and of my fellow photographers who kindly contributed to this exhibition.
Beauty moves the heart, it opens the mind. Beauty arouses empathy - towards humans and other living species.
As a photographer, but also as the president of a NGO which works towards making the world a better place, I hope that the beauty of the Wild and Precious Exhibition images will inspire you with the will to take action to protect wild animals and plants.
Gisele Bundchen, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador
Imagine if you had no voice to protect yourself, your loved ones, your children. Imagine witnessing your family slaughtered by dangerous criminals. This is the massacre that elephants across Africa are facing every day. Tens of thousands a year over the last several years. It is shocking that we might lose one of our most beloved species to human greed. If we can’t protect our elephants what can we hope to protect?
I can't imagine passing on a planet devoid of wildlife to my children. What would we tell them about why we left their world in such a state? This World Wildlife Day, please give a voice to all endangered species, great and small.
Li Bingbing, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador
Many species around the world are under attack.Demand for illegal wildlife products, like ivory and rhino horn, is literally threatening these iconic species with extinction. It is estimated that an elephant is poached every 15 minutes for its ivory. This means tens of thousands every year. At this rate of poaching, the existence of these animals in the wild is no longer secure. But together we can stop it.
As a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, I have committed to spreading the message that poaching and other forms of wildlife crime is not only a betrayal of our responsibility to safeguard endangered species, but a serious threat to the security, political stability, economy, local livelihoods and cultural heritage of many countries.
Let us unite in urgent action to stop the global poaching crisis and end the illegal trade in wildlife. Let's celebrate World Wildlife Day by pledging to win this fight!
Please join my campaign by saying no to ivory and other illegal wildlife products.
Ian Somerhalder, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador
36% of all species on earth are at risk of extinction. Tens of thousands of elephants are being killed every year. One every 15 minutes. Wild rhinos have to be protected by armed guards day and night and we are still losing the battle.
The world's conservationists, governments and diplomats are trying hard to solve the problem, but they are having a hard time!
Youth of today own the social media platform. We rule it with our individual and collective voices. This is powerful and we can make change! Let's speak up about the illegal wildlife trade and reverse this crisis.
It's World Wildlife Day. Let's do more than pledge, let's act.
Join me in an effort to combine our voices and reduce demand for products which are decimating species. Let's be so loud that it's deafening in all the right ways. Sonic Boom this issue with me!
Yaya Toure, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador
It is estimated that one African elephant is killed every 15 minutes - mercilessly and unnecessarily - for ivory.
This is tragic and unacceptable. The demand for ivory is carving a bleak future for already vulnerable populations. The world's rhinos and tigers, along with other species, face similarly bleak futures, unless we act now.
The illegal trade in wildlife is destroying species, habitats, and communities. It threatens wildlife populations, the livelihood of local communities, and the lives of rangers in their fight to stem the illegal tide.
I am Yaya Toure, Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Environment Programme, and I call on everyone to help stop the killing of elephants, rhinos and other endangered species. Let us unite in urgent action to stop the global poaching crisis and the illegal trade in wildlife.
Stop the killing, now.
Don Cheadle, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador
I once was chased by a rhino. It was not in the wilds of Africa, though I was there, but in an orphanage where baby rhinos and elephants were being raised because their mothers had been killed through human wildlife conflict or because of poaching. At that time, there were only a hand full. One was quite angry about my presence, which made for a great encounter. Years later, one of my most memorable family adventures was a return to Africa with my daughters. We felt like modern day adventurers in a land where in many ways time stood still. A place that told the story of the harmony between man and nature; a place where one could still experience the magic of the natural world.
Today, that orphanage is bursting at the seams with survivors. Almost all are poaching victims. Though I live miles away from the impacts, I feel the loss. And even in our own backyards, people are buying ivory and other illegal wildlife products. The US just passed legislation banning the domestic trade in ivory. This is a major step in the right direction. But it comes down to demand. Where ever we are, we all just need to say no to illegal wildlife products and leave the next generation with something to treasure. Our kids deserve it.
Richard Leakey, GRASP Ambassador
World Wildlife Day is an important opportunity for us all to consider our responsibility in protecting the animals that inhabit the earth, and to recognize that our future as human beings very much depends on our ability to ensure their long-term survival. Much more has to be done if we are to avoid the extinction of the great apes, tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses.
Eric Wainaina, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador
Having the great fortune of being born in Kenya, I realized the benefit of beauty, wildlife and wild places on one’s creative inspiration at a very young age. I have always considered myself lucky to be a Kenyan. And I love my homeland. I do not love what is happening here, and across Africa, as we daily read reports of the escalating poaching crisis facing elephants and rhinos-- and of course the pressure on many other species at risk from losing their habitats. I can’t imagine a world without our precious wildlife. I don’t want to. Let’s keep the flame alive. Let’s celebrate World Wildlife Day and sing a song of hope that we can make a change.