UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Feb. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Universal Pictures, Illumination Entertainment and The Nature Conservancy announced today the launch of their environmental action campaign “The Lorax Speaks.” The project aims to start a movement that generates support and awareness to save one of the planet’s most endangered tropical forests. The Atlantic Forest in Brazil once spanned 330 million acres and has been reduced to a mere 7 percent of its original size.

The Forest is home to more than 2,000 animal species and approximately 20,000 species of plants, many of which can only survive in this Forest. The Nature Conservancy’s “Plant a Billion Trees” (www.plantabillion.org) is a campaign to restore Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. People are invited to customize their Facebook profile pictures to help raise awareness for “The Lorax Speaks” project. In addition to spreading awareness, there is an opportunity for people and groups to make direct contributions to The Nature Conservancy to help plant trees in this threatened Forest. The app is available on the official Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Facebook page (www.facebook.com/theloraxmovie).

The movement was started by a generous donation from Universal Pictures, as well as support from the Audrey S. Geisel Dr. Seuss Foundation, Seventh Generation, HP, Mazda and IHOP, to The Nature Conservancy’s “Plant a Billion Trees” campaign. “As we bring Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax to filmgoers, it remains crucial to honor the spirit in and the message of Dr. Seuss’ timeless book,” said Josh Goldstine, President of Marketing, Universal. “Through this donation to The Nature Conservancy, we hope to further a conversation among the audience about serving as stewards of our environment.” Illumination Entertainment Founder and CEO Chris Meledandri said: “Since 1971, Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Lorax’ has brought awareness to the precarious state of the environment.

His message is more important today than ever. The Atlantic Forest in Brazil represents a microcosm of the Lorax’s story, and there is not a lot of time left before it disappears forever. It has always been a goal of mine to utilize the massive reach we achieve through marketing a film to inspire social action.” “This exciting partnership goes to show that bringing back the splendor of one of the world’s great forests is not an idea confined to the imagination of Dr. Seuss, but something that people everywhere can do now—by helping plant a billion trees in Brazil—to ensure a future in which the lungs of the Earth are healthy and thriving,” added Sarene Marshall, Managing Director of the Global Climate Change Team, The Nature Conservancy. Facebook fans will be encouraged to “speak for the trees” by personalizing their profile pictures with custom Truffula Trees from the film.

They will join the cast of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax—Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Rob Riggle and Betty White—in pledging their support. The reforestation efforts will be helmed by The Nature Conservancy in a way that is ecologically sound and economically advantageous to the local population through its “Plant a Billion Trees” campaign.