Leonardo DiCaprio just pledged $5 million and launched a fund to save the Amazon
Leonardo DiCaprio is doing his part to take a stand when it comes to relief for the Amazon rainforest. The Hollywood A-lister's non-profit organization Earth Alliance has announced an emergency fund that's meant to help fight the fires continuing to blaze through the area. DiCaprio launched the Amazon fund with an initial $5 million donation. According to a statement from the nonprofit, the money is meant to “focus critical resources for indigenous communities and other local partners working to protect the life-sustaining biodiversity of the Amazon."
Earth Alliance was formed as a collaboration between billionaires Brian Sheth and Laurene Powell Jobs, and initially launched in July. DiCaprio and company are currently seeking donations to the fund, "100 percent of" which will go to partners "on the ground" actively working to protect the Amazon.
DiCaprio has been actively following the crisis, taking to Instagram last week to regram a post by the Rainforest Alliance that lamented the "lungs of the Earth" being in flames.
"The Brazilian Amazon - home to 1 million Indigenous people and 3 million species - has been burning for more than two weeks straight," the post read. “There have been 74,000 fires in the Brazilian Amazon since the beginning of this year - a staggering 84 per cent increase over the same period last year (National Institute for Space Research, Brazil)." Without the Amazon, the post pointed out, it's going to be near impossible to keep global warming in check, a harrowing reality that we must face.
“The Amazon needs more than our prayers,” the post reads.
DiCaprio is no stranger to philanthropy when it comes to helping the environment. He founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 1998 to address environmental concerns the world over. Earlier this year, the Foundation joined forces with rapper Lil Dicky and other celebs to release an animated video for the song "Earth" which, while obviously a parody, has a very serious message: we need to wake up and take environmental change seriously. The Earth's the only planet we have.
Earth Alliance's fund isn't the only one started in a bid to assist efforts to quell the Amazon fires. Today at the G7 conference, French president Emanuel Macron announced an immediate $20 million fund to help Amazon countries fight rampaging wildfires.
With enough contributions, hopefully the groups and communities dedicated to quelling these fires will have the support and backing they need to eventually repair the damage done and continue working toward conservation of the vital Amazon ecosystem. If you're interested in donating to Leo's fund, you can do so by visiting the official Earth Alliance donation page.