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Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Awards $15.6 Million in Largest-Ever Round of Environmental Grants

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In a historic announcement, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) awarded the largest portfolio of environmental grants in the foundation's history.

The foundation awarded a total of $15.6 million in grants, including $7,631,508 for wildlife and habitat conservation; $2,525,000 for ocean conservation; $2,100,000 to protect indigenous rights; $2,085,000 to support innovative solutions to the world's problems; and $1,300,000 to combat climate change. With these grants, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has provided more than $59 million in support of many projects since 1998.

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation supports more than 70 environmental projects across 40-plus countries and five oceans through close collaborative partnerships with environmental leaders, experts and organizations.

"Today we are greatly increasing our level of vital grant making and strategic partnerships to help solve some of the world's most pressing environmental challenges," Leonardo DiCaprio, founder and chairman, said.

The foundation also announced today the appointment of Terry Tamminen as CEO of LDF. Tamminen joins the foundation from Seventh Generation Advisors, which he founded nine years ago. Previously, he served as Sec. of the California Environmental Protection Agency under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and founded the Los Angeles Waterkeeper as the Santa Monica Bay Keeper in 1993.

"Leo and his foundation have been an invaluable voice in the environmental movement for many years," said Tamminen. "I am proud to join them in the fight for the defense of our natural world and the protection of every living creature on Earth. I look forward to working with Leo and the LDF team as we expand the impact of the foundation in the years to come."

LDF supports more than 70 environmental projects across 40-plus countries and five oceans through close collaborative partnerships with environmental leaders, experts and organizations.

The portfolio objectives and grant recipients for this round of funding include:

Wildlife and Habitat Protection aims to improve the future for vulnerable wildlife on land by protecting and restoring natural habitats, end poaching in critical regions and reintroduce native species back into the wild.

Grantees include:

"Our most iconic wildlife is on the precipice, worldwide; but the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and [Wildlife Conservation Network] have envisioned a different path forward," Jeffrey Parish, Wildlife Conservation Network's vice president for conservation, said.
"LDF's investment in the Elephant Crisis Fund has enabled support to more than 100 projects by 40 organizations across Africa and Asia to end the ivory crisis and ensure these giants will forever roam free. That is nothing short of game-changing, and LDF's investments will ensure more species, like African Lions, will soon be stepping back from the brink."

Ocean Conservation works to safeguard endangered ocean habitats and species, constrain overfishing and establish and expand marine protected areas.

Grantees include:

Indigenous Rights Protection invests in the emergence of an effective, empowered and indigenous-led conservation movement.
Grantees include:

"On behalf of Utah Dine Bikeyah, I am honored to accept the support of LDF to continue advancing our mission of healing people and the Earth through preservation of Native American natural and cultural resources," Willie Grayeyes, chairman of the Utah Diné Bikéyah, said.

"News of LDF's support comes at a critical moment in the Bears Ears National Monument campaign, an inter-tribal initiative calling on President Obama to protect two million acres of ancestral homelands in southeastern Utah, considered sacred by numerous regional Tribes."

Innovative Solutions supports innovation at the grassroots level that can be replicated and amplified to bring about new pathways for change.

Grantees include:

Climate Change works to increase efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions and expedite the transition to a clean, green economy.
Grantees include:

"This important grant will help Our Children's Trust advance the global climate campaign in which more and more young people around the globe are exercising their fundamental constitutional and public trust rights to demand urgent reductions in carbon and methane pollution to stabilize our climate system and protect our oceans," Julia Olson, Our Children's Trust's executive director and chief legal counsel, said.

"Where political branches of governments have failed us, these youth are bringing landmark actions in their state and federal courts to secure the legally binding right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate, in accordance with current science, for the benefit of all present and future generations."

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