On the occasion of the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations, Sting & Trudie Styler, founders of the Rainforest Fund, received the honorary "International Green Film Award"- a Green Oscar for the ongoing and tireless work of the Rainforest Fund - at Cinema for Peace New York 2012. Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development presented support for the Rainforest Fund and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
Cinema for Peace New York was held Tuesday, September 25 at The Harvard Club in New York City.
This year, Cinema for Peace New York introduced an evening on Climate Change and Development. Last year, Cinema for Peace New York introduced the Universal Human Rights Logo.
Noella Coursaris Musunka, model/entrepreneur and founder of The Georges Malaika Foundation was host for the event. Keynote speaker for Cinema for Peace New York was Amy Goodman, host & executive producer of the award winning news show Democracy Now. Joe Berlinger - Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker, presented the Green Oscar to Sting and Trudie Styler. Berlinger directed Styler in his film, Crude, which won a Cinema for Peace Award in 2010.
"Our main issue tonight is climate change and sustainable development," said Noella Coursaris Musunka in her welcome remarks, "and the question of how to create a positive climate of change. And ultimately how artists can inspire us to move forward and make a difference on this critical issue. Tonight we want to give examples of what can be done by governments and by civic society and what is being done by passionate artists and activists such as Trudie Styler and Sting for the rainforest."
Previous Cinema for Peace Award recipients include Angelina Jolie, George Clooney and Sean Penn.
VIP's attending the event included: Sting, composer, singer, author, actor, activist; Trudie Styler, actress, film producer, director, human rights activist, environmentalist and UNICEF Ambassador; Noella Coursaris Musunkam, model/entrepreneur, founder of The Georges Malaika Foundation; Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now; Jessye Norman, internationally acclaimed opera star; Joe Berlinger, Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker; Cara Buono, Emmy® nominated actress, Mad Men;Cheyenne Jackson, Actor, Singer, Song Writer, Eric Goode, entrepreneur, conservationist; Mike Woods, meteorologist & reporter, Good Day New York; Tim Morehouse, Olympic fencing silver medalist; Rachael Kun, associate producer, 60 Minutes & CBS Evening News; Ubah Hassan, model/entrepreneur/activist; Loreen Arbus, philanthropist, producer, founder & chair, Women Who Care; Faith Hope Consolo, chairman, Douglas Elliman Real Estate; Roxanne Mankin Cason, chair and chief executive officer, Cason Family Foundation; Nicole Sexton, philanthropist & author | board member, FEED Project; Stacey Tisdale, TV financial journalist, PBS' Need to Know & founder, Winning Play$; Wendy Diamond, correspondent, The Today Show; Richard Ziegelasch, director, Credit Suisse; Richard O'Leary, executive vice president, McCann Worldgroup; Christopher Laul, senior principal, HOK; Tom Polucci, senior principal, HOK; Justin Brown, CEO, FGX; Lori Sokol, The Huffington Post & publisher, Work Life Matters; Victoria Milne creative director, Department of Design and Construction; Alfredo De Diego Arozamena, senior director at Standard and Poor's; Marie Wilson, founder and president of The White House Project & former president of the Ms. Foundation for Women.
In 1989, Sting and his wife Trudie Styler founded the Rainforest Fund, an organization devoted to protecting rainforests and their indigenous peoples. To date they have raised more than $30 million for the cause and have expanded to a network of interconnected organizations working in more than 20 countries.
"More than one billion people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water. Addressing this basic human need lies at the heart of alleviating poverty, eradicating disease and reducing child mortality," said Rainforest Fund co-founder Trudie Styler in her acceptance speech at the event. "The indigenous people of the world's rainforests are the guardians of an essential life support system for our world. They are the first and last line of defense against the ravages of short-term exploitation of resources and wealth-pursuing companies."
"The consequences of climate change affect countries worldwide at a different level," says State Secretary Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, of Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. "Especially poorer countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia will suffer from droughts, extreme weather conditions and rising sea levels. Droughts and the access to drinking water already lead to tensions among countries. Therefore, successfully adapting to climate change is also a question of peace."
"The mission of the Rainforest Fund is to protect the rainforest and the rights of indigenous peoples. Through its work the Fund has played a decisive role in improving the concrete living conditions of many people – and it has made these topics part of the mainstream in industrialized societies. That is the tremendous achievement of the Fund's founders Sting and Trudie Styler," adds State Secretary Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz. "Moving forward, the BMZ is going to be supporting and cooperating with the Rainforest Fund too, because we share the same goals."
"Last year Cinema for Peace introduced on this occasion the Universal Human Rights Logo with the help of such wonderful supporters as Aung San Suu Kyi and Robert de Niro," says Jaka Bizilj, founder of Cinema for Peace. "This year's focus was on climate change, sustainable development, and how artists may inspire others to create a climate of change."
"The fight against Climate Change become one of the world's greatest challenges," adds Bizilj. "The United Nations has called for an 100-billion-annual fund for Climate protection and the seat will be selected this year."
Joe Berlinger, the Academy Award®-nominated documentary filmmaker and Green-Oscar-winner for Crude, in which Trudie Styler appeared, presented the Green Oscar to Sting and Trudie Styler. "Trudie and Sting have used their platform as artists to really make a difference in many parts of our world and for many indigenous peoples," Berlinger told the audience. "The centerpiece of their human rights and environmental efforts is the Rainforest Fund, an organization they began in 1989 that is devoted to protecting rainforests and their indigenous peoples in South America, Africa and Asia. To date they have raised more than $30 million for the cause."
In 2009, Cinema for Peace introduced the Green Oscar together with President Mikhail Gorbachev and Leonardo DiCaprio to honor inspiring achievement of a film artist in the domains of environment and climate protection.