Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance donates $5 million to combat Amazon wildfires
Leonardo DiCaprio's commitment to tackling the climate change crisis is well-known.
Now, the actor, 44, has donated $5 million to combat the Amazon wildfires through his environmental charity Earth Alliance. A much-needed boost to fight the crisis which is resulting in the equivalent of five football pitches worth of rainforest being lost every minute, Brazil's space agency revealed.
In the video below, a Pataxó woman cries as her reserve burns behind her. She blames cattle farmers for the blazes:
The $5 million will go to five charities working to save the forest which has been dubbed "the world's lungs". These are Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida (Kayapo), Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), Instituto Kabu (Kayapo), Instituto Raoni (Kayapo) and Instituto Socioambiental (ISA).
DiCaprio established the charity in July of this year with Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth, lesser-known billionaire business investors and philanthropists.
This year increased media and celebrity attention has been given to the growing climate change crisis which has resulted in the UK's met office reporting that heatwaves are now 30 times likelier because of damage done to the environment.
In addition to donating his own money, the actor is encouraging others to follow suit. He wrote on Instagram last week:
"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.
"There have been 74,000 fires in the Brazilian Amazon since the beginning of this year - a staggering 84% increase over the same period last year (National Institute for Space Research, Brazil).
The actor continued: "Scientists and conservationists attribute the accelerating deforestation to President Jair Bolsonaro, who issued an open invitation to loggers and farmers to clear the land after taking office in January. The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution.
"Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth's warming in check. The Amazon needs more than our prayers."
The actor's post then reveals ways in which people can help the Amazon from donating to front line groups to joining charities. DiCaprio also stressed the importance of keeping the story alive on social media.
"Stay on top of this story and keep sharing posts, tagging news agencies and influencers.
"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.
"When election time comes, VOTE for leaders who understand the urgency of our climate crisis and are willing to take bold action - including strong governance and forward-thinking policy."
Hopefully, DiCaprio's words will help inspire others to take action. The Earth needs its lungs.