“I will use my celebrity status to fight poaching of elephants,” The football star from Ivory Coast, whose national team is nicknamed “The Elephants”, was unveiled yesterday as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme, joining the ranks of Kenyan musician Suzzana Owiyo.
Touré is expected to help generate public awareness and understanding of environmental causes alongside other goodwill ambassadors like Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, US actor Don Cheadle, Chinese actress Li Binging, French photographer Yann Arthus Bertrand and Indian economist Pavan Sukhdev.
“Poaching threatens the very existence of the African elephant and if we do not act now, we could be looking at a future in which this iconic species is wiped out,” he added.
The UN estimates that over 17,000 elephants were illegally killed at monitored sites in 2011 alone. Overall figures may be much higher