• Yves Rocher foundation

    The Yves Rocher Foundation

    The Yves Rocher Foundation – Institut de France was created at the initiative of Jacques Rocher, son of Yves Rocher, the man who created Botanical Beauty. The Yves Rocher Foundation helps direct local and global environmental conservation, solidarity-based and educational actions in over 50 countries. The Yves Rocher Foundation was created in 1991 and placed under the auspices of the Institut de France in 2001. It works for a "greener world" through 2 leading actions: the "Women of the Earth" Awards and the "Plant for the Planet” Programme.

  • GEF


    The Global Environment Facility is now the main source of public funding for projects to improve the state of the planet’s environment. It gave away up to 9 billion dollars from its capital stocks in grants. It also raised over 40 billion dollars of co-funding for more than 2 700 projects in over 165 countries. Moreover, the IMF has put together a separate 250 million dollar budget and 750 million dollars of co-funding to support SFM/REDD+.

  • FCPF


    The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) is a worldwide REDD+ partnership. The FCPF helps countries with tropical and subtropical forests to develop systems and policies for REDD+ and pays them according to their emission reduction results. The FCPF complements the UNFCCC negotiations on REDD+ by demonstrating how REDD+ can be applied at the country level.

  • Firmenich


    Firmenich is the largest private company in the perfume and aroma industry. Founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895, it has produced a long list of classic fine perfumes and aromas. Its passion for taste and fragrances is the key to its success. It is known for its creativity, its capacity for innovation and its exceptional understanding of the market’s trends. Every year, it invests about 10% of its revenue in research; this reflects its ongoing will to understand, share and sublimate the best nature has to offer.

  • UNEP


    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was created in 1972. It is the highest environmental authority within the United Nations system. The programme acts as a catalyst. It supports, instructs, facilitates and strives to promote the sensible use and the sustainable development of the world’s environment. To do this, UNEP works with many partners including United Nations agencies, international organisations, governments, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and civil society.

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GoodPlanet Foundation was founded in 2005 by Yann Arthus-Bertrand to raise public awareness on environmental issues and environmental protection and became a non profit organisation in June 2009 to undertake long-term actions.

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Don Cheadle

Don Cheadle

UNEP Goodwill Ambassador

Don Cheadle, an award-winning American actor is best known for his portrayal of a Rwandan hotel manager in the genocide drama film Hotel Rwanda. Cheadle actively campaigns for the end of genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and co-authored a book concerning the issue titled Not On Our Watch. To take individual action where he can, Cheadle owns a solar home, uses filtered versus bottled water and drives a hybrid automobile.

Project: Appalachian Regional Restoration Initiative (ARRI) is a capacity-building effort between United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the US Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and the San Francisco-based Baum Foundation.

As a newly appointed UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, I am learning the ropes on the how’s and why’s our planet is under threat. The science behind the issues can be daunting but seems irrefutable as I see the change, in just my lifetime, to my own backyard, the cities I grew up in and the far flung places I visit.

In my work as an actor and humanitarian, I have seen the devastating impact of dwindling and scarce resources from Rwanda to Darfur. This year, off our shores in the US, we have experienced the most devastating oil spill in human history. I guess these experiences constitute why it is not a huge leap for me to envision the very real threats we face if we continue to diminish the planet’s resources faster than they can be replenished. The choice to conserve and live more mindfully is not some esoteric concept, but a selfish decision to not bite the proverbial hand that feeds us.

Though the impact of humankind on our environment is apparent everywhere, the one that stands out most for me, both in terms of the rate of its destruction and because of its myriad resources, is the forest. But the good news is that we have more information than ever on the wide-ranging value of forests, and beyond conservation, we are starting to restore and transform destroyed habitats back into viable ecosystems.

I was moved by one such story of revitalization in an area that is endowed with a wealth of natural resources but has long struggled with poverty. The Appalachian region of the eastern United States is home to some 23 million people, but the exploitation of its coal reserves has left a scarred and damaged landscape in an area whose forests support some of the highest biological diversity in the world’s temperate regions.

The Appalachian Regional Restoration Initiative (ARRI) was created in an effort to reforest active and abandoned mined lands. Since 2007, over 40 million trees have been planted on 87,000 acres across the Appalachian coal states by volunteers. The results generated by the initiative have resulted in a proposal to plant 125 million trees over the next five years, restoring forests on approximately 175,000 acres, creating more than 2,000 green jobs and sequestering 3-5 times more carbon than the current grasslands. In a region facing high unemployment and environmental degradation, ways of increasing local wealth and job opportunities while sustaining biodiversity and aiding the recovery of damaged ecosystems is invaluable.

UNEP hopes that this project will help achieve their Billion Tree Campaign’s goal to plant a tree for every one of the 320 million US citizens and to serve as a model for other high impact grassroots initiatives around the world. I, in turn, hope to help raise awareness both for the issues and for the successful projects that may inspire people to get better informed and to make their own contributions.

Don Cheadle