Leonardo DiCaprio is donating $5m to save the Amazon rainforest

Leonardo DiCaprio. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)
Leonardo DiCaprio. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)

Cape Town – Leonardo DiCaprio's environmental group, Earth Alliance, is donating $5 million (R76 628 250) to saving the Amazon rainforest.

With the launch of the Amazon Forest Fund, Earth Alliance writes, "The Amazon rainforest is on fire, with more than 9 000 wildfires scorching delicate, irreplaceable landscapes across Brazil this week — year to date, more than 72,000 fires have been reported by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE). This is a significant increase from the 40 000 fires in Brazil at this point last year."

They go on to explain the fires, that are near impossible to contain, are resulting in deforestation and the rapid release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, destroying the ecosystem.

With a start-up of $5 million and the hope that others will contribute, Earth Alliance is hoping to provide relief to the communities directly impacted.

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#Regram #RG @earthalliance #EarthAlliance, launched in July by @LeonardoDiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Brian Sheth, has formed an emergency Amazon Forest Fund with a commitment of $5 million dollars to focus critical resources for indigenous communities and other local partners working to protect the life-sustaining biodiversity of the Amazon against the surge of fires currently burning across the region. Join Us. 100 percent of your donation will go to partners who are working on the ground to protect the Amazon. 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. To learn more or to donate, please visit ealliance.org/amazonfund (see link in bio) Photos: @chamiltonjames, @danielbeltraphoto 2017

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Leo is the co-founder of Earth Alliance and well known for his efforts as an environmentalist. His latest venture combines both his love for entertainment with that of the environment with the release of Ice On Fire, a new HBO documentary.

Directed by Leila Conners, who also made The 11th Hour with Leo, the documentary focuses on solutions to the planet's escalating environmental crisis, emphasising the importance of an immediate, two-pronged approach to reversing the crisis: reducing carbon emissions through traditional renewable energy sources and new ones, like tidal energy, and implementing "drawdown" measures, focusing on methods for drawing down and sequestering carbon, including direct air capture, sea farms, urban farms, biochar, marine snow, bionic leaves and others. 

"Over the last 250 years we have, in effect, conducted the largest science experiment in history," says Leo, who is both the producer and narrator in the documentary. "Since the advent of the industrial revolution, we have burned over 1.4 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere. It has changed life on Earth as we know it, especially in the Arctic. The melting of the world's snow and ice has now triggered multiple climate tipping points threatening the very existence of life on Earth. Yet this disturbing future need not be set in stone. We have long had alternatives to fossil fuels. But more recently, we have actually discovered how to pull carbon out of the atmosphere, giving us a chance at reversing climate disruption. If we are able to reverse climate change in time, it would be an unprecedented achievement in human history. But the clock is ticking. Scientists say we must implement these solutions immediately."

On the film, he comments, "My partners and I made Ice On Fire to give a voice to the scientists and researchers who work tirelessly every day on the front lines of climate change. We wanted to make a film that depicts the beauty of our planet while highlighting much-needed solutions across renewable energy and carbon sequestration. This film does more than show what is at stake if we continue on a course of inaction and complacency – it shows how, with the help of dedicated scientists, we can all fight back.

"I hope audiences will be inspired to take action to protect our beautiful planet."


Ice On Fire is currently streaming first on Showmax.

Compiled by Bashiera Parker (Sources: Earth Alliance).