Jason Momoa has taken on an honorary role as the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Advocate for Life Below Water.
The actor was crowned the title on Monday during the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon where roughly 7,000 ocean advocates, including several heads of state and environmental activists, will “advance progress on science-based solutions to ensure better management and conservation of the ocean and its resources.” Momoa received the Nature Baton from Peter Thomson, the UN special envoy for the ocean, which he called one of his “greatest honours.”
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The “Aquaman” actor, who plays the role of protector of the deep, has been trusted to fight for the threatened life of the ocean, not only onscreen, but in real life with his new UN title.
“With this designation, I hope to continue my own journey to protect and conserve the ocean and all living things on our beautiful blue planet, for our generation and the generations to come,” Momoa, 42, said, describing the humbling responsibility.
Growing up in Hawaii — one of the world’s most beautiful archipelagos — has made Momoa feel deeply connected to the ocean and respectful of nature throughout his entire life.
“For me, the ocean is an ancient teacher, a guide and a muse. It is also existential. Without a healthy ocean, life on our planet as we know it would not exist,” he said.
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The actor was “so grateful” to be supported by his daughters Lola Iolani, 14, and Nakoa-Wolf, 13, whom he thanked on Instagram “for standing with your papa” on such an “amazing day.”
UNEP’s executive director Inger Andersen added that the global authority is “pleased to have Jason Momoa joining the UN family as UNEP’s Advocate for Life Below Water,” noting that the actor “has a strong track record of advocating for ocean issues, from reducing single-use plastic pollution to protecting coral reefs.”
She continued, “With a huge audience of engaged fans, we believe that Jason can move ocean considerations into the hearts and minds of citizens and business leaders to promote this urgency and action.”
Ahead of the conference, Momoa attended an event on a Portuguese beach where he said, “Without a healthy ocean life, our planet as we know would not exist.”
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“We must seek to right the wrongs we have done against our children and grandchildren, turn the tide on our irresponsible stewardship and build momentum for a future where humanity can once again live in harmony with nature,” he added.
The UN Ocean Conference, which features 250+ events, is co-hosted by Portugal and Kenya. It kicked off on Monday after being postponed from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.