New Face of UN Biodiversity Campaign: Edward Norton

New UN Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity Edward Norton receives a lapel pin from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Photo by: Mark Garten / UN Photo

Actor Edward Norton is the latest addition to a list of prominent individuals supporting various causes and initiatives of the United Nations. Norton, a two-time Academy Award-nominated actor from the U.S., was named U.N. Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity on July 8.

As goodwill ambassador, Norton said he will coordinate with the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, or CBD, to highlight the “crisis of biodiversity” and ensure world leaders do their part in protecting the environment.

Among his priorities, Norton told reporters in a New York press conference, is to make other people aware of how humans are intertwined with biological diversity. Understanding this connection is “incontestably the defining challenge of our era,” the actor noted, adding that future historians will most likely assess the current generation based on how well it responds to the biodiversity crisis.  

“We are reaching the tipping point, where unprecedented and irreversible damage is going to be done,” said Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD’s executive secretary, during the same conference. “We need an urgent call to action.”  

Norton, whose appointment comes as the U.N. names 2010 as International Year of Biodiversity, is an active supporter of conservation efforts and a board member of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.