Quantcast

Leonardo DiCaprio Pledges $5M to Fight Amazon Fires

Popular
Leonardo DiCaprio arrives fo the LA Premiere Of HBO's "Ice On Fire" held at LACMA on June 5 in Los Angeles, California. Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images

Leonardo DiCaprio's environmental charity has pledged $5 million towards fighting the wildfires currently burning in the Amazon rainforest, The Guardian reported Monday.


"The lungs of the Earth are in flames. The Brazilian Amazon — home to 1 million Indigenous people and 3 million species — has been burning for more than two weeks straight," DiCaprio wrote in an Instagram post announcing the donation, as The Guardian reported.

The funds come through Earth Alliance, a new charity formed by DiCaprio and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth in July to "help address the urgent threats to our planet's life support systems," CNN reported. The actor's previous Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation merged with the new organization.

Earth Alliance announced its Amazon Forest Fund on Twitter Sunday.

"These funds will be distributed directly to local partners and the indigenous communities protecting the Amazon, the incredible diversity of wildlife that lives there, and the health of the planet overall," the organization wrote.

Funds will be divided between five local organizations: Instituto Associação Floresta Protegida (Kayapo), Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), Instituto Kabu (Kayapo), Instituto Raoni (Kayapo) and Instituto Socioambiental (ISA).

The donation comes after a widespread outcry following the news last week that there are a record number of fires burning in the Amazon, which is an important sink for carbon dioxide. Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) said the number of fires had increased 83 percent compared with this time last year. Scientists and environmental advocates say that the fires were sparked by deforestation, as farmers clear trees for planting or cattle grazing. Such practices have been encouraged by right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has promised to open more of the Amazon to mining and agriculture.

The G7 countries also pledged $22 million to help Brazil fight the fires at a summit this weekend, as French President Emmanuel Macron announced Monday, but the Bolsonaro government rejected the funds, Al Jazeera reported.

"'[P]erhaps those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe," Bolsonaro's Chief of Staff Onyx Lorenzoni told Brazil's Globo news site Monday, according to Al Jazeera. "Macron cannot even avoid a predictable fire in a church that is part of the world's heritage, and he wants to give us lessons for our country?" Lorenzoni said.

In addition to the G7 pledge, the UK had promised $12 million to fight the fires and Canada had promised $11 million. It is not clear if Brazil also rejected those offers.

While Bolsonaro's government rejects international funding, it has also directed its own resources away from the environment.

"The funding for Brazil's environment agency has gone down by 95% this year, it [has] essentially gutted [a] large part of the actions that have been put in by the agricultural ministry," University of Oxford ecosystem science professor Yadvinder Malhi told the BBC's Today program, as BBC News reported. "So the real thing is to look at the political direction of governance in the Amazon that's changing under the new Brazilian government."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By George Citroner

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the World Health Organization currently recommend either 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (walking, gardening, doing household chores) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming) every week.

But there's little research looking at the benefits, if any, of exercising less than the 75 minute minimum.

Read More Show Less
Mary Daly, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, poses for a photograph. Nick Otto / Washington Post / Getty Images

It seems the reality of the climate crisis is too much for the Federal Reserve to ignore anymore.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Passengers trying to reach Berlin's Tegel Airport on Sunday were hit with delays after police blocked roads and enacted tighter security controls in response to a climate protest.

Read More Show Less
A military police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, pets Rosco, a post-traumatic stress disorder companion animal certified to accompany him, on Jan. 11, 2014. North Carolina National Guard

For 21 years, Doug Distaso served his country in the United States Air Force.

He commanded joint aviation, maintenance, and support personnel globally and served as a primary legislative affairs lead for two U.S. Special Operations Command leaders.

But after an Air Force plane accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain, Distaso was placed on more than a dozen prescription medications by doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Read More Show Less
(L) Selma Three Stone Engagement Ring. (R) The Greener Diamond Farm Project. MiaDonna

By Bailey Hopp

If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Preliminary tests of the bubble barrier have shown it to be capable of ushering 80 percent of the canal's plastic waste to its banks. The Great Bubble Barrier / YouTube screenshot

The scourge of plastic waste that washes up on once-pristine beaches and finds its way into the middle of the ocean often starts on land, is dumped in rivers and canals, and gets carried out to sea. At the current rate, marine plastic is predicted to outweigh all the fish in the seas by 2050, according to Silicon Canals.

Read More Show Less
Man stands on stage at Fort Leonard Wood in the U.S. Brett Sayles / Pexels

Wilson "Woody" Powell served in the Air Force during the Korean war. But in the decades since, he's become staunchly anti-war.

Read More Show Less
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Nov. 8. Matt Johnson / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

Joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Friday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders held the largest rally of any 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to date in Iowa, drawing more than 2,400 people to Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs.

Read More Show Less