Christiano Ronaldo to Serve as Environmental Ambassador for Indonesia’s Dwindling Mangrove Forests Christiano Ronaldo – the world famous soccer sensation who plays for Real Madrid has accepted an ambassadorial appointment from the Bali-based Peduli Mangrove Forum (Mangrove Care Forum) operated by the Artha Graha Peduli Foundation. Supported by five NGOs in Bali, the soon-to-be-launch forum will dedicate itself to raising public awareness on issues surrounding preserving mangrove areas,energize the public to clean and protect the mangroves, and enhance the role of mangroves’ roles in preserving bio-diversity. Ronaldo’s role as Ambassador for the Forum Peduli Mangrove was formalized in Madrid on March 8th at a meeting between Ronaldo and Indonesian businessman Tomy Winata. Winata was in Madrid accompanying Gories Mere, the former Anti-Narcotic Agency (BNN) chief, who was attending am international seminar on drugs and crime. Commenting on Ronaldo’s agreement to accept the ambassadorial appointment, Winata said: "I am absolutely delighted that Ronaldo has agreed to support our cause to conserve mangrove forests in Indonesia. He is an ideal ambassador for mangrove conservation as he has mass appeal and we want the message of ‘Save Mangrove, Save Earth’ to reach the young and old, rich and poor." "Mangrove conservation is an important but neglected area of conservation. We are running out of time. The world is losing mangroves at an alarming rate. The situation in Indonesia is particularly dire; we have lost more than two million hectares of our mangrove areas. Conserving mangroves is not only about protecting the environment but also the livelihood of many villagers," said Winata Indonesia is estimated to have lost over nine million hectares of mangrove forests to shrimp farming, palm plantations and human development. Responding to his appointment, Ronaldo said: "I am privileged to be able to play a role in conserving mangroves in Indonesia. I was in Aceh after the 2004 tsunami and the devastation I saw left a deep impression. I understand that in places where there were mangroves to provide the ecosystem buffer against high waves, more lives were saved and less damage sustained.” Winata who is a major tourism investor in Indonesia also embraces environmental work that includes founding the Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation (TWNC) - a conservation and rehabilitation sanctuary covering 44,500 hectares of land and 14,500 hectares of sea on the southern tip of Sumatra. Shown on Balidiscovery.com are Christiano Ronaldo and Tommy Winata shortly after the soccer superstar’s agreement to act as an ambassador for mangrove forests in Indonesia.