Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental organization has pledged $5 million to help tackle the Amazon forest fires.
The Amazon has seen a record number of fires this year. The National Institute for Space Research (Inpe), detected 72,843 fires between January and August, an 84 percent increase compared to the same period in 2018. The forest is home to one million indigenous people and three million species of plants and animals. It is also a vital carbon store which slows down the pace of global warming.
DiCaprio formed his non-profit, Earth Alliance, with billionaires Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth.
‘Protect the Amazon’
Now according to a post on Instagram, the money will be used to ‘focus critical resources for indigenous communities and other local partners working to protect the life-sustaining biodiversity of the Amazon’.
“100 percent of your donation will go to partners who are working on the ground to protect the Amazon,” the post added.
“Earth Alliance is committed to helping protect the natural world. We are deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis in the Amazon, which highlights the delicate balance of climate, biodiversity, and the wellbeing of indigenous peoples.”
How to help
DiCaprio posted about the fires last week, explaining to his followers how they can help. Taking to Instagram, he outlined the severity of the situation, describing the rainforest as ‘a critical piece of the global climate solution’ adding that without it, ‘we cannot keep the Earth’s warming in check’.
He advised people to donate to frontline Amazon groups, and become a regular supporter of the Rainforest Alliance’s community forestry initiatives.
He added: “Be a conscious consumer, taking care to support companies committed to responsible supply chains.? Eliminate or reduce consumption of beef; cattle ranching is one of the primary drivers of Amazon deforestation.”
He has come under fire from some news outlets for publishing old photos of Amazon fires. According to Fox News: “As the world focuses its attention on the crisis of fires engulfing the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, some celebrities trying to raise awareness are sharing false or misleading images.
“With the consequences of the fires potentially having an impact on a global scale, some celebrities have taken to social media in an effort to raise awareness. However, some are sharing out-of-date or inaccurate images and claiming they are of the current devastating blaze.
“Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio has been sharing several images and posts on Instagram meant to raise awareness of the fires and instruct people on what they can do to help. Unfortunately, one of the many images he shared can be found on the Carbon Brief organization’s website dated from 2018.”