Awards are handed out all the time. And from Grammy’s and Emmy’s to even a Golden Globe, Sting has dozens. But how many other celebrities can boast they have a frog named after them? As co-founder of the Rainforest Foundation with his wife, Trudie Styler, Sting was recognized for his commitment to save the rain forest by having a Columbian tree frog named Dendropsophus stingi in his honor.
Sting was inspired to start a life-long commitment to humanitarian causes at Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball in 1979. Since then he’s performed at several benefit shows and in 1989 was asked for help by a Kayapo leader in Brazil, who was worried about his people and land. And thus, the Rainforest Foundation was created. After 20 years in action, the organization is active in 20 countries in various rainforest regions around the world and has independent offices in New York, Oslo, and London.
Due to destruction by greenhouse gases, development, and logging, the world’s rainforests are currently only a fraction of what they were 50 years ago. Between their ability to prevent mudslides by providing a protective canopy, to sheltering dozens of plants that are used in useful drugs, rain forests are a vital part of this planet that house many species of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. The indigenous people living there rely on the land for food and shelter. But as the forests are destroyed, so is their way of life. The major goal of Sting’s foundation is to protect and support indigenous people and the environment they live in by helping them defend their rights and secure their natural resources for long-term sustainability.
Not one to hide behind his charity, Sting also served on a panel during a televised 2005 G8 debate, where he spoke out on everything from African poverty to the deforestation of the Congo. He also continues to create awareness and raise money by performing at various charity concerts including Live 8 for AIDS awareness and the Concert for Walden Woods to help save the area made famous by Thoreau. He also contributed to last year’s Songs For Tibet album, to help raise money to support peace initiatives and Tibetan cultural projects. Plus, well let’s all just admit that he’s super sexy too.