Chinese actress Li Bingbing has been appointed as the first national Goodwill Ambassador in China for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Ms. Li, who was designated in the Chinese city of Shanghai yesterday, will help UNEP in its mission to generate awareness and understanding of environmental causes, as well as inspire positive action, the agency said.

She has already demonstrated personal environmental commitment through her L.O.V.E Green movement, which promotes an environmentally-friendly, low-carbon lifestyle among her fans in China. She has also worked to mobilize the public to lead greener lifestyles.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to work with UNEP on the environment. I am an environmentalist in my personal life and I try to share this passion with my fans and the wider public,” Ms. Li said.

“If we are really going to protect the planet, we all need to be accountable for our behaviour, to realize that the natural resources that have been so generously given to us are limited and need protecting if they are going to be shared by future generations,” she added.

A graduate of the Shanghai Drama Institute, Ms. Li made her film debut in 1999 with the movie, Seventeen Years. In 2005, she starred in the romantic comedy film Waiting Alone, which received three Chinese Academy Award nominations, including “Best Picture” and “Best Actress.”

Ms. Li has sought to build on her work as a popular actress to green the high-profile entertainment industry in China. She is also a Goodwill Ambassador of the Billion Forest Campaign by the Climate Group in the Asia-Pacific region. She was the Earth Hour Global Ambassador last year.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP''s Executive-Director said: “Li Bingbing is our first Goodwill Ambassador in China and UNEP is delighted to welcome her on board. UNEP commends her personal commitment to a greener lifestyle and her passion to influence the public.”

"As an actress, she has the ability to reach out and influence large numbers of people to change their behavior and to realize that a sustainable future depends on all of us working together," he added.

In her first action as UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Li, together with Mr. Steiner, opened UNEP''s video exhibition by 14 leading international artists at the UN Pavilion in the Shanghai Expo. The installation, entitled the Nature of Cities, was created by Art Works for Change, and examines how cities must find a balance with the natural world to exist in a way that support both people and the planet.

Accra / Ghana/ Africa /