Traditional and internationally renowned artist, Maalouma Mint Meidah was on Tuesday August 9, 2011 appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the IUCN Central and West Africa subregion by Mrs. Julia Marton-Lefèvre, General Director of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
After music and politics, the artist is now embarking on the preservation of natural resources and will, as the Goodwill Ambassador of the IUCN provide the main catalyst in the Central and West Africa sub-region.
In her new role, Maalouma will disseminate environmental messages outside the IUCN traditional professional and organisational networks and also help the Union increase public awareness about environmental issues, popularise sustainable solutions to these problems, publicise its activities and thus increase its public visibility.
The Mauritanian born musician, who is committed to human causes, did not hesitate to lend her voice to the men and women who fight for social justice. She is currently fighting to improve the situation of women and children, combat poverty, promote education and culture in a country where the needs are immense in these fields.
Through her songs, she then contributed to the fight against AIDS, to foster the vaccination of children, literacy and the advancement of women and most recently, to the preservation of natural resources with the song entitled “Tous responsables» (All responsible).
Designed as a cry from the heart to safeguard the environment, the song and the video have accordingly been produced by the Regional Programme for the Conservation of Coastal and Marine area in West Africa (PRCM).
From now, guarantor of the preservation of natural heritage, the internationally renowned artist, who connects authenticity with modernity, is one of the first women in Mauritania who wrote her name in the history of Art. She believes that “Music can change mentality and ideas, and educate society”. “I am delighted with the confidence that IUCN just placed in me. I am much honored. I will do my best to fulfill this great responsibility”, Maalouma said in response to her nomination.
For her part, Mrs. Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN General Director, said “We rely on Maalouma Mint Meidah to enhance the public profile of IUCN and its partnerships to increase its visibility and to generate public and financial support for its missions and activities”..
Aside being a national pride and a composer of great repute, Maalouma, whose music career came into lime light when she was only twelve, was elected senator in January 2007 in her country.
By Edmund Smith-Asante