Gisele Bündchen

Correspondent

Photo credit: National Geographic Channels/Lalo de Almeida

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Gisele Bündchen

About Gisele Bündchen

Gisele Bündchen is arguably the most successful model of all time. She was born in 1980, in Horizontina, a small town in the south of Brazil. She was a carefree, loving, self-described “tomboy” who loved to be barefoot, playing outside and climbing on trees.  At the age of 14, she was “discovered” by a talent scout in a shopping mall who saw a bright future for her in the world of fashion. Through her hard work, determination, and focus, she experienced incredible success in an industry where longevity is challenging to sustain. Over the course of her 21-year career, she has graced the covers of numerous magazines, such as Time, Forbes, Rolling Stone, and all the top fashion magazines including Vogue, W, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. She became the face of countless global campaigns for the most prominent brands, has been photographed by the most prestigious photographers and walked the runaway for the most iconic fashion houses in the world. With a global reach, Gisele chooses to use her influence to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our planet and all living beings to make the world a healthier and happier place for her children and all generations to come.

While growing up in Brazil, Gisele felt a deep joy in connecting with the beauty of nature. But it wasn’t until a trip in 2004 to the Xingu region in the Amazon Rainforest, that she began to grasp nature’s fragility. On this trip, Gisele spent time with a native Indian tribe and witnessed the problems they were facing due to water pollution and deforestation. This experience motivated her to become involved with social-environmental causes. After returning home, Gisele collaborated with a footwear company, Grendene, to create a flip-flop line to draw attention to environmental causes and raise funds to sponsor them, especially forest and water related projects in the Amazon and Atlantic Rainforest.

In 2008, she and her family created the Projeto Agua Limpa, (Clean Water Project) in their hometown of Horizontina. The project’s goal was to implement sustainable environmental management while promoting the recovery of riparian vegetation and the micro basins of the region. Around 40,000 native forest saplings were planted which helped to revitalize the flora and fauna and to restore the water quality in the region.

In addition to her family’s project, she has lent her name and image to many campaigns raising awareness for environmental causes. She also had a “green” blog with the aim of “reflecting on social-environmental issues that we can do something about”. There was also a cartoon called “Gisele and the Green Team” to inspire girls to be environmentally responsible. In May 2009, she co-hosted the Rainforest Alliance’s annual gala to honor leaders in sustainability.

In acknowledgment of her dedication to the environment, Gisele was designated a Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations Environment Program in 2009 and since then, she has been working with the UN to draw attention to environmental issues. She has been the face of a number of UN campaigns and undertaken field missions in Brazil, Kenya and the U.S.

Gisele’s environmental efforts have also been recognized by Harvard Medical School which honored her with the Global Environmental Citizen Award. In addition, she received the Best Green International Celebrity Award by the Green Awards.

From fashion to fanfare, Gisele finds a way to be proactive about her social-environmental concerns. She is grateful for the opportunity to work on such an inspiring documentary as the Years of Living Dangerously. She is eager to learn more about the challenges the Amazon region and her native country of Brazil are facing due to illegal deforestation and its impact on our climate. As an optimist, she believes we have the power to make the necessary changes that will significantly impact generations to come.  Gisele continues raising awareness by shining a light on the important issues facing our planet today. She hopes and dreams to make a lasting positive impact on our world for many years to come.

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