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Anna Friel championed a cause close to her heart on a visit to Uganda with her eight-year-old daughter Gracie – see video below.
The British actress visited the east African nation with WWF to raise awareness of how oil exploration in Virunga National Park, the continent’s oldest national park, could threaten its outstanding natural beauty and diverse wildlife.
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“I was incredibly fortunate to experience the beauty of Uganda’s parks with my daughter Gracie, and I now feel even more of a responsibility to help preserve this area for future generations,” the former TV soap star said.
“If we fail to act now, the heritage of this ‘protected’ area and these extraordinary creatures could no longer exist by the time Gracie is my age. If oil exploration can threaten a place as beautiful and meaningful as Virunga, where’s next”
The mother and daughter were accompanied by filmmaker Adrian Steirn on their trip and made a moving short film which displays the beauty of the landscape and the incredibly diverse animal life of the nearby parks.
They explored how oil exploration could impact upon the environment, local people, and species such as the critically endangered mountain gorilla population, which inhabit the surrounding areas.
Anna, 37, and Gracie also saw how people make a living from the natural environment through activities such as fishing and eco-tourism.
The UNESCO heritage site park is home to around a quarter of the world’s remaining population of mountain gorillas and over 200 other species not found anywhere outside the region. Hundreds of thousands of people rely on the park for food and water. However, oil exploration and possible spills could devastate this fragile ecosystem.