Today UNEP and Puma announced the launch of Play for Life, a campaign designed to promote the International Year of Diversity (2010). The campaign will include the 12 teams that Puma sponsors in Africa, including 4 World Cup qualifiers — Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, and Gabon. Cameroon captain Samuel Eto’o will take a leading role.
A special “African Unity Kit,” or “uniform” to those reading in the U.S., was also unveiled today. It has been approved by FIFA as an official kit for the World Cup and, I imagine, will be on sale to help raise funds to promote biodiversity.
Africa was chosen because it “hosts exceptional biodiversity including two of the five most important wilderness areas on Earth – the Congo Basin, and Miombo-Mopane Woodlands and Savannas of Southern Africa…[and] nine of the planet’s 35 Biodiversity hotspots, the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on Earth.”
From the UN News Centre:
[B]iodiversity is under threat around the planet, creating the greatest extinction crisis since the natural disaster that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Species have been disappearing at up to 1,000 times the natural rate, and this is predicted to rise dramatically. Based on current trends, an estimated 34,000 plant and 5,200 animal species face extinction.
I’ve included two videos below to get you primed — one a TED talk with Corneille Ewango on his efforts to protect the Congo Basin and the other of 10 pretty sweet goals by Eto’o (or perhaps you’re in the mood for something a little more dramatic?).