Notes for nature, songs for society – IUCN welcomes Malouma as new Goodwill Ambassador
09 August 2011 | News story
A unique artist has joined the team of IUCN Goodwill Ambassadors. Mauritanian singer and songwriter Malouma - or Maalouma - actively engaged in the fight for the rights of women and children and most recently,in tackling the many environmental challenges that her country is facing, joins IUCN in pursuing its vision of a ‘just world that values and conserves nature’.
Although strongly anchored in traditional Mauritanian music, Malouma’s songs bring together different types of African, Arab and Western sounds, with a special ‘soft spot’ for the blues. This extraordinary mix of sounds has given her a strong voice to fight for what she believes in most: equality, social justice and a healthy planet.
Since the beginning of her career, Malouma has used her music to improve the situation of women and children, combat poverty and promote education and culture in her home country. One of a handful of Mauritania’s female senators and one of the first female artists in the country, she has contributed to the fight against AIDS, encouraged the vaccination of children and fought for the rights of women. Most recently, through her song ‘Tous responsables’ ('Everyone's responsible'), she emphasizes the importance of nature and calls on her fans to get involved in its protection.
“I am interested in everything that can be good for both people and nature and I have always tried to convey this message through my music,” says Malouma. “Mauritania is facing many environmental challenges. It has extremely high levels of pollution and very little concern for nature among its people. Many of my songs aim to make them realize that if we want to live healthy lives, we need our planet to be healthy too.”
As IUCN’s Goodwill Ambassador, Malouma hopes to spread the word about environmental issues in Central and West Africa and raise public awareness about the importance of preserving natural resources. She particularly wants to focus on the youngest generation and promote environmental messages in schools so that children do not repeat the mistakes of their parents.
“Music can change mentality and ideas and it can educate society,” says Malouma. “I’m sure that together with IUCN, whose work is widely known and appreciated in my country, we can create a new generation that will respect and preserve our environment.”
“We are delighted to have Malouma join our prestigious club of Goodwill Ambassadors,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “We look forward to working together and joining our forces. Her unique musical style, which gracefully combines traditional and modern sounds, together with her beautiful voice and powerful lyrics will certainly help us strengthen IUCN’s profile in Central and West Africa and beyond, and generate public support for our efforts to conserve nature for future generations.”
Malouma joins the team of IUCN Goodwill Ambassadors that includes the Japanese singer and songwriter IRUKA, American singer Alison Sudol and French marine conservationist Pierre-Yves Cousteau. These are pro-bono advocates of IUCN who use their talents, fame and passion about the environment to support and spread the word about IUCN's work around the world.