ian somerhalder don cheadle Ian Somerhalder and Don Cheadle team up for the Alliance for Global ConservationAt this point, we’re beginning to think that “The Vampire Diaries” star Ian Somerhalder is a superhero in disguise – it’s the only way he could possibly find time to save the world while still showing up to give Elena all those smoldering looks.

]]>mired in the extensive work of launching his own Ian
Somerhalder Foundation, everyone’s favorite vampire bad-boy has added
another responsibility to his plate as he teams up with Don Cheadle as spokespersons for a cause Somerhalder is hugely passionate about.

“I
signed on to do a huge project, me and Don Cheadle as a spokesperson,
and it’s quite arguably, in all humility, one of the most important
philanthropic environmental projects ever undertaken,” Somerhalder tells
Zap2it. “I’m so honored to have been included.”

PEW
Charitable Trusts is an independent nonprofit funded by the family
behind Sun Oil Company. They’ve joined forces with Conservation
International – a group Somerhalder looks to for personal inspiration –
along with The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, and
World Wildlife Fund to form the Alliance for Global Conservation. Their goal is simple: to protect life on earth.

“What
we’ve realized is that 50% of the world’s species will basically be
extinct in about 50 years due to loss of habitat, climate change, and
all that sh**,” Somerhalder says, his enthusiasm for the cause. “The
possibility for medical advancement that we lose there is staggering.
It’s a national security threat. Clean air, clean water, and medicine is
a national security issue for the United States of America.”

As
part of the Alliance, Somerhalder will help to build awareness for the
Global Conservation Act, which “would coordinate the work of all U.S.
agencies involved in international
conservation and establish a national strategy for promoting
conservation initiatives that strengthen global security, health and
economies,” according to the bill.

If Somerhalder and Cheadle seeme like an odd pairing to you, you’re not alone.

“They
had Don Cheadle, who is this… genius guy who is Oscar-nominated —
he’s the man. At this point, he’s got the entire African Continent
behind him, and really, he’s the voice that an connect to the adults,”
Somerhalder explains, somewhat reverently. “They needed a youth
catalyst, someone who has the ear of the youth, and after a bunch of
market research they realized that I’m that guy and they came to me to
do this. It’s really exciting, but it’s a daunting task.”

Somerhalder
won’t just be a pretty face for the PSAs — though he did shoot one on
Dec. 11 in Atlanta, where “The Vampire Diaries” films. He intends to
stay involved and get his hands dirty.

“I’m going to Central
America after we wrap. We’re going to take note of the scope of what
needs to be done, and then I’m going to fly back to Washington and
testify in a congressional hearing as to what’s going on,” he explains.

As far as Somerhalder is concerned, he’s speaking for the youth of
America. The actor, who turned 32 on Dec. 8, feels a great
responsibility to represent the loyal fanbase that has rallied behind
him throughout his career, but especially since “The Vampire Diaries”
became a hit.

“I have the best fans in the world,” he says. “These are 14, 15,
16-year-olds who are fed up and are trying to change their future. It’s
about standing up for Generation Extinction and empowering people
globally to make this necessary change.”