20 Sep 2017 Press release Ecosystems

UN Environment announces Ben Fogle as new United Nations Patron of the Wilderness

 

UN Environment  is delighted to announce the appointment of British Broadcaster and Adventurer Ben Fogle as the UN’s new “Patron of the Wilderness”.

This newly created role, which complements that of Lewis Pugh, UN Environment Patron of the Oceans, will see Ben highlight the pressure and impact on the earth's wildest corners.

By meeting political and business leaders around the world, Fogle will help give a voice to the Wilderness. He will also participate in the development of global outreach programmes and highlight, through expeditions, our impact on the environment, bringing a code of ethics to adventuring and promoting the concept of “leaving no trace” to ensure our actions do not damage the environment wherever we go.

“Ben has done amazing things to bring the spectacular, rugged beauty of the world's wildest places to our screens. But it's also a journey that has shown us that even the most remote corners of the planet are under threat,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment. 

“We're delighted that Ben will be joining us to focus more attention to the conservation cause, and most of all to inspire even greater global action.”

As a conservationist and environmentalist, Fogle has spent more than two decades in some of the world's great wildernesses. He has worked on anti-poaching projects in Africa and the Far East; was part of the award winning Documentary 'Plastic Oceans', highlighting the impact single use plastics on our oceans; is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society in London; and is an ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund, Tusk, Blue and Plastic Oceans.

Fogle’s wilderness experience includes mountains, deserts, jungles, rainforests and oceans with a particular focus on remote wildernesses and the impact of climate change and human impact from exploitation of minerals.

His travels have taken him as far afield as the remote islands of Tristan Da Cunha and Gough in the South Atlantic, Pitcairn in the Pacific and Svalbard in the Arctic. He has travelled extensively through the Amazon basin of South America and has made more than a dozen films on wildlife in Africa, including a year-long series following the migration of the Wilderbeest across Kenya and Tanzania and a documentary in Botswana with Prince William about his conservation efforts.

He has rowed 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, trekked across Antarctica to the South Pole and crossed the Empty Quarter desert of the Middle East.

Fogle said “This is an incredible honour and the culmination of a lifelong dream. Over the years I have been lucky enough to experience and visit some of the planets most precious landscapes and I feel privileged to be given this opportunity by the United Nations to share my experiences with the world.

“The planet is facing untold pressures and my new roles as UN Patron of the Wilderness will allow me to celebrate and share the beauty of the wilderness with the world.  I want to give the wilderness a voice to help highlight what we have before we lose it.  Our relationship with the wilderness should not be one of conflict or battle. It should not be one of exploitation but of symbiotic harmony.”