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Home » News

Spanish soccer star kicks off UN campaign to save endangered orangutans

Article / Review by on December 6, 2011 – 7:10 pmNo Comments

Spanish soccer star kicks off UN campaign to save endangered orangutans

Spanish soccer star Carles PuyolSpanish soccer star Carles Puyol

Soccer star Carles Puyol, who led Spain to the World Cup title last year, is the face of a new United Nations campaign to save endangered orangutans that could face extinction within the next few decades.

“Act Now for Orangutans” is developed by the UN Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) – an alliance that works to respond to the conservation crisis facing chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos – and the United Kingdom-based International Animal Rescue (IAR).

Less than 66,000 wild orangutans are thought to remain in the forests of Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia, and more than half of that population has been lost since 1950, according to a news release issued by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which created GRASP in 2001.

“Orangutans face a very real threat of extinction, perhaps within the next few decades,” said Doug Cress, GRASP Coordinator. “It will take a significant effort by leaders across all walks of life to halt this crisis, and we are very pleased that Carles has stepped up.”

Mr. Puyol, the 33-year-old captain of FC Barcelona, is the centrepiece of the campaign’s posters that state “I Care – Do You?” and asks supporters to visit a website that provides information on orangutan conservation, reforestation, and the impact of palm oil production on orangutan habitats.

For every individual who pledges their support on the website, GRASP will plant a tree to help expand key forests surrounding Sumatra’s Gunung Leuser National Park, a major orangutan habitat.

“The plight of the orangutan is an issue that touches me profoundly,” said Mr. Puyol. “When I was asked if I would support the campaign, I didn’t hesitate. Time is running out fast for these magnificent great apes and I’m proud to be part of efforts to save them.”

The posters, which feature the soccer star standing in front of images of orangutans in distress, will be displayed on billboards and banners in Indonesia.


> United Nations (UN).

The General Assembly in session. Photo credit: UN / Eskinder Debebe The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 192 countries.

When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes:

  • to maintain international peace and security;
  • to develop friendly relations among nations;
  • to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
  • and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.


* The above story is adapted from materials provided by United Nations (UN)
** More information at United Nations (UN)

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