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The world lost an important environmental icon on Monday with the passing of Paul G. Allen. He died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Seattle, according to his company Vulcan Inc. He was 65.
Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates and owned the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers, was also a major philanthropist devoted to making the world a better place.
Thanks to dedicated conservation efforts, Nepal now has an estimated 235 wild tigers in the country, a nearly twofold increase from its baseline of 121 individuals in 2009, the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) announced Sunday on the occasion of Nepal's National Conservation Day.
The South Asian nation is now on track to become the first country to double its tiger population as part of WWF's "TX2" goal to double the world's wild tiger population by 2022—the next year of the tiger on the Chinese zodiac.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Mike Gaworecki
A team of biologists and computer scientists plan to map a global "safety net" for planet Earth.
The mapping effort, to be led by Washington, DC-based non-profit research organization RESOLVE together with Globaïa, an NGO based in Quebec, Canada, and Brazil's Universidade Federal de Viçosa, aims to identify the most critical terrestrial regions to protect as we work towards the goal of conserving 50 percent of the world's land area.
Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector, but eating a burger doesn't have to come with a side of guilt.
Environmental activist and Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio announced that his foundation has awarded $20 million to more than 100 organizations supporting environmental causes.
This is the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation's (LDF) largest-ever portfolio of environmental grants to date. The organization has now offered more than $80 million in total direct financial impact since its founding in 1998.
By Phineas Rueckert
The list of celebrities pitching in to help out the victims of Hurricane Harvey is growing.
And the most recent star to contribute to the relief effort is no stranger to helping out those in need.
Thursday morning, Leonardo DiCaprio pledged $1 million to the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund, Variety reported.
Fish—which is loaded with protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids—is among the healthiest foods on the planet, and that's not to mention that dining on fish has a smaller carbon footprint than red meat, pork and chicken.
But here's the catch: the world's increasing appetite for finned food has led to a devastating problem with nearly 90 percent of global fish stocks either fully fished or overfished, according a 2016 analysis from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Meanwhile, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development forecasts a 17 percent rise in fish production by 2025.
In addition to depleting fish stocks, the long term sustainability of the ocean's resources is also threatened by acidification, warming waters, hypoxia, sea level rise, pollution and the overuse of marine resources.
That's why Oscar-winning actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio has gotten behind Boulder, Colorado-based seafood brand LoveTheWild that sells frozen seafood kits made with 100 percent farm-raised fish.
"Estimates show the earth's population approaching nine billion by 2050, putting tremendous pressure on our natural food resources," DiCaprio said in a statement. "Seafood is a primary source of protein for nearly a billion people—but climate change, acidification and over fishing are putting increased pressure on our oceans' natural stability."
"LoveTheWild's approach to sustainable, responsible aquaculture is promoting the development of a secure and environmentally-conscious solution to feeding our planet's growing population," he added.
The Before the Flood filmmaker has made an investment in the brand and will also serve as an advisor. According to BizWest, DiCaprio and sustainable aquaculture investment fund Aqua-Spark round out a $3 million Series A funding announced in February, in which Aqua-Spark invested $2.5 million.
"The exploitation of our oceans has left many marine ecosystems on the brink of total collapse, which is hurting our ability to harvest our seas as a reliable food source as we have for thousands of years," DiCaprio continued. "LoveTheWild is empowering people to take action on this crisis in a very meaningful way."
Farmed seafood, or aquaculture, currently provides roughly half of all fish consumed globally. Experts tout it as a way to supply protein, nutrition and food security to a rapidly growing global population.
However, aquaculture operators in some countries, such as Chile's salmon industry, have been criticized for crowding fish into tight enclosures that breed disease and raising them on unnatural diets and antibiotics.
But as Tim Fitzgerald, a scientist and sustainable seafood expert at the Environmental Defense Fund, told the New York Times, farming practices are improving and some merchants set high standards for the fish they sell.
LoveTheWild, founded by Jacqueline Claudia and Christy Brouker in 2014, sells sustainable fish that's good for you and the oceans at the same time. The company said it selects its seafood from the "most well-managed farms in the world."
The line includes striped bass with roasted pepper almond sauce, barramundi with mango Sriracha chutney, catfish with Cajun creme and red trout with salsa verde. The kits are in retailers such as Whole Foods Market, Wegmans, Sprouts and Mom's.
"Our vision for LoveTheWild was inspired by our dedication to aquaculture, and we're very humbled that the quality of our products and integrity of our vision has attracted such a powerful group of supporters and investors," said Claudia, LoveTheWild CEO, in a statement.
"We are excited that Mr. DiCaprio, someone so dedicated to environmental activism, has partnered with LoveTheWild to help make it easy for consumers make an impact on the environment through something as simple as choosing the right thing for dinner. We have no doubt that the involvement of all of our investors will further bring to life our mission of making high-quality seafood exciting, easy, and accessible, while also helping to bring awareness to the potential for responsible aquaculture to play an important role in our food future."
DiCaprio, and his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, has long put his philanthropic dollars towards environmental organizations and businesses that protect oceans, land and wildlife, as well as operations that work to fight against climate change.
Last year, 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.
Third Annual Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Gala Sets New Fundraising Record, Raised Nearly $45 million
This year's glittering gala raised nearly $45 million for environmental causes.Getty
Nearly $45 million was raised to support the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation's mission of preserving the environment and all of Earth's inhabitants.
The event also honored victims and survivors of the Bastille Day attack in Nice, France—a portion of the evening's proceeds went to GiveforFrance.org, with DiCaprio himself and a number of guests making personal donations, according to the organizers.
In a speech kicking off the evening, the
and prominent activist urged for solutions to the world's environmental challenges.
"While we are the first generation that has the technology, the scientific knowledge and the global will to build a truly sustainable economic future for all of humanity—we are the last generation that has a chance to stop climate change before it is too late," DiCaprio said.
"We are the last generation that has a chance to stop climate change before it is too late." — Leonardo DiCaprioGetty
DiCaprio listed several environmental conservation achievements from this past year, such as the signing of COP21 agreement in April, where the United Nations Messenger of Peace delivered a speech in front of world dignitaries imploring a shift towards renewable energy.
He also highlighted successful initiatives achieved by his foundation and their partners, including the first native tiger population increase in 100 years and the first moratorium on all new palm oil plantations in Indonesia, a cause that The Revenant star has been particularly involved.
The evening was hosted by DiCaprio as well his foundation's fundraising chairman Milutin Gatsby, CEO Terry Tamminen, executive director Justin Winters and with support of banking group Julius Baer and Swiss watch maker Chopard.
Event chairs included Boris F.J. Collardi, CEO of Julius Baer, Philippe Cousteau, Jonah Hill, Kate Hudson, Tobey Maguire, Edward Norton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Caroline Scheufele, Kevin Spacey, Cate Blanchett, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Robert De Niro, Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron.
The gala, of course, included a host of A-list attendees, including Bono, Chris Rock, Mariah Carey, Bradley Cooper and supermodels Naomi Campbell, Constance Jablonski, Joan Smalls, Doutzen Kroes and Lily Donaldson. The Weeknd and Lana Del Rey gave special performances.
H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco awarded with the foundation's first "New World Leadership Award," in recognition of his legacy of environmental conservation.
The soirée's signature silent and live auction featured a slew of unique experiences (my favorite: attending the U.S. Open's men's final with Leo!), luxury collectibles and memorabilia. DiCaprio's collection of fine art on the block included pieces from renowned artists Jeff Koons, Pablo Picasso, Urs Fischer, Olafur Eliasson and Adrian Villar Rojas.
GQ gave a hilarious breakdown of auction's offerings:
The items range from the practical to the insane. For example, you could bid on DiCaprio's Rolex, his diamond cufflinks he wore when he won his Oscar, various pieces of expensive fine art (like the ones in DiCaprio's storied collection), and "A Unique Pair of Luminous Jellyfish Earrings." That last one is a little less Leo, but it is just the right amount of decadent.
You can also go for the Leonardo DiCaprio experience, including a week on set with Martin Scorsese (will he let you call him Marty?), a private game of Texas Hold 'Em with Edward Norton and Jonah Hill, an evening with Mariah Carey, and lunch with Margot Robbie. All for the price of a few years at an Ivy League, but think about it. What better education is there than paying celebrities to hang out with you? That's what I thought. There are also some weirder offerings like a portrait of Leo's eyeball. If you're going to get a portrait of an eyeball, why not have it be Leo DiCaprio's eyeball? It's a good eyeball.
That said, the money raised is going towards worthy causes. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, founded in 1998, has given away more than $59 million to fund environmental projects across the globe. The foundation announced last week $15.6 million in grants, the largest portfolio of environmental grants in the foundation's history, to organizations that are working to preserve and protect the future of the planet. These grants further the foundation's approach to helping tackle some of today's most pressing environmental issues.
"The destruction of our planet continues at a pace we can no longer afford to ignore," DiCaprio said. "I am proud to support these organizations who are working to solve humankind's greatest challenge."
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.
- Elephant Crisis Fund
- Lion Recovery Fund
- Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary
- Maasai Wilderness Conservation Fund
- Turtle Conservancy
- California Mountain Lion Conservation
- World Wildlife Fund
- Pacific Wolf Coalition
- Defenders of Wildlife
- International Fund for Animal Welfare
Ocean Conservation works to safeguard endangered ocean habitats and species, constrain overfishing and establish and expand marine protected areas.
"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.
- Digital Democracy
- Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
- Waterkeeper Alliance
- Water Defense
- Biomimicry Institute
- Earthecho International
- People's Grocery
"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."
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation announced today its third annual gala at the Domaine Bertaud Belieu vineyard in St. Tropez, France on July 20.
The major charity event raises funds to protect Earth's last wild place, implement solutions that restore balance to threatened ecosystems and ensure the long-term health and wellbeing of all its inhabitants.
Last year's gala at Domaine Bertaud Belieu on July 22, 2015 in Saint-Tropez, France raised $40 million for environmental causes.The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
This year's occasion will be co-hosted by the Oscar-winning actor and noted environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, the foundation's global chair Milutin Gatsby and chief executive officer Terry Tamminen.
Event chairs include Hollywood A-listers, environmentalists and prominent businessmen and women such as Cate Blanchett, Marion Cotillard, Boris Collardi, Philippe Cousteau, Jr., Penelope Cruz, Robert De Niro, Jonah Hill, Kate Hudson, Scarlett Johansson, Tobey Maguire, Edward Norton, Caroline Scheufele, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kevin Spacey and Charlize Theron.
This year's event will honor H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco for his legacy of environmental conservation and include performances by The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey and special guest Andrea Bocelli.
DiCaprio's eponymous foundation was founded in 1998 and works in four key areas: protecting biodiversity, oceans conservation, wildlands conservations and climate change. The organization supports more than 70 environmental projects across 40-plus countries and five oceans through close collaborative partnerships with environmental leaders, experts and organizations.
For instance, the philanthropic organization has donated more than $6.2 million to the World Wildlife Fund since 2010 to help boost the global population of wild tigers. The foundation also supports local partners in Sumatra to establish "a mega-fauna sanctuary in the Leuser Ecosystem," which is known as the last place on Earth where Sumatran orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants coexist in the wild, and is under threat from industrial development of palm oil. Without protection, these wildlife species are likely to be pushed to extinction.
Last year's star-studded gala raised a staggering $40 million, nearly doubling the $25 million raised in the first year. The 2015 event featured a high-priced live auction that opened with DiCaprio's personal items up for bid: a Rolex Daytona Cosmograph watch, and Andy Warhol and Bansky artworks from his personal collection. DiCaprio's donations raised close to $2 million.
"Tonight's event is about supporting Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation's efforts to protect key species like the tiger, rhino, shark and mountain gorilla by working with governments to conserve the jungles, coral reefs and forests they call home," DiCaprio said in his opening speech at last year's soirée.
"By focusing on protecting these critically-endangered iconic species is almost like setting up a worldwide network of Noahs arks. We've decimated our forests, wildlands, polluted and over fished our rivers and oceans; all the key ecosystems that not only serve as a home to our planet's biodiversity, but also make life here for us possible. I'm incredibly proud to be part of a night that will allow us to do so much to protect the planet."
The Revenant star and his foundation have advocated for a number of worthy causes to help preserve our environment. Last month, following the April signing of the Paris agreement, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation announced a $650,000 grant to R20 Regions of Climate Action, a project that aims to rapidly identify renewable energy, energy efficiency and waste management initiatives to bring positive environmental and social benefits to communities across the globe and ultimately reduce carbon emissions.
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