Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to become an ambassador for Artha Graha Peduli’s mangrove conservation efforts in Bali, the foundation said in a statement on Monday.
According to the statement, Tomy Winata, the founder of the Artha Graha Group and its philanthropic arm, AGP, first approached the Real Madrid and Portugal midfielder on Friday during a visit to the Spanish capital.
“I am really thrilled and happy that Ronaldo has agreed to support our efforts to conserve mangrove forests in Indonesia,” Tomy said in the statement.
“Ronaldo is fit to be the ambassador of our mangrove conservation drive, considering his persona and charm. We hope our message ‘Save Mangrove, Save Earth’ can reach all levels of society, both young and old, rich or poor.”
The foundation plans to kick-start a campaign to conserve a mangrove forest in Tanjung Benoa, Bali, with the support of five local nongovernmental groups.
“Mangrove conservation is important but often neglected. The world is losing its mangroves and the condition in Indonesia is appalling. Indonesia has lost two million hectares of mangroves,” Tomy said.
“Mangrove conservation is not only about saving the environment but it is also important for the lives of so many people.”
Tomy is also behind the Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation in Lampung, which manages 44,500 hectares of protected forest and 14,500 hectares of protected coral reefs. The conservation site is working with the government to provide facilities for former drug addicts.
Tomy is currently in Europe promoting the facility at a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) conference taking place in Vienna.