Leonardo DiCaprio Pledges $5 Million to Fight Amazon Fires
Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio announced Sunday that the environmental charity Earth Alliance, which he represents, is pledging $ 5 million to fund firefighting in the Amazon. These funds are designed to “focus critical resources on key defenses needed to support the lungs of the planet.”.
Earth Alliance announced that emergency fund «will be distributed directly to local partners and indigenous communities that protect the Amazon, the incredible diversity of wildlife and the health of the planet in general». These include: Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida (Kayapo), Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), Instituto Kabu (Kayapo), Instituto Raoni (Kayapo) and Instituto Socioambiental (ISA).
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) teamed up in the Earth Alliance with billionaires Lauren Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth this July to «help address urgent threats to our planet’s life support systems». This partnership builds on DiCaprio’s many years of work in the fight against the climate crisis. The organization is led by an independent team of scientists and conservationists. The Foundation works to protect ecosystems and wildlife, fight against climate change, support renewable energy and protect the rights of indigenous peoples.
«Since its founding in 1998, LDF has provided over $ 100 million in grants for projects in all five oceans and all seven continents», – reported in the fund’s July press release.
Fires in Brazil prompted celebrities to use their social media accounts to raise public awareness of the problem.
«The world’s largest rainforest is an important part of the global climate solution, DiCaprio stated in his Instagram post. – Without the Amazon, we will not be able to contain the warming of the Earth».
According to the foundation’s website, the Brazilian National Space Research Institute has reported more than 72,000 fires – a sharp increase from 40,000 fires last year, largely attributable to the unprecedented increase in deforestation resulting from intensive livestock and forage planting. … Many of the fires are believed to have been started by farmers and ranchers with tacit approval from the authorities..
Earth Alliance was among those who pointed to the deliberate, potentially criminal, fueling of many of the fires.. «Large-scale cattle and forage operations – most of which are illegal – along with some of the impact of logging, are the main drivers of this deforestation.», – ecologists say.
Experts warn that if the fires are not eliminated, the consequences could be dire, not only for the people who call home a rainforest, but for the entire planet..
«The destruction of the Amazon rainforest quickly releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, destroying the ecosystem that absorbs millions of tons of carbon annually and is one of the planet’s best defense systems against the climate crisis.», – says Earth Alliance.
DiCaprio told Reuters on Monday that the Amazon crisis had become «incredible tragedy».
«Governments around the world, including Brazil, need to work together to keep this from going on», – he said.