When he’s not fighting off bears or trying to win an Oscar, Leonardo DiCaprio is busies saving the environment.
The man is passionate about countries around the world. And why shouldn’t he be? It is THE ONLY PLACE CAPABLE OF SUSTAINING HUMAN LIFE. Sorry, his enthusiasm is contagious.
) work with more than 70 partners in 40 countries to protect the planet’s remaining natural ecosystems.
As DiCaprio said in his speech, “These complex ecosystems can never be replaced; they are the foundation of our global economy, and more importantly, our interconnected climate without them life as we know it will simply collapse.”
During his acceptance speech, DiCaprio pledged $15 million from his foundation to fast-track sustainability projects around the world.
DiCaprio is putting his money where his mouth is and fast-tracking several innovative sustainability projects in every corner of the globe.
These are the five exciting projects his foundation committed to :
1.$ 6 million will be used to help monitor commercial fishing activity.
Global Fishing Watch is a new interactive web tool from Google, Oceana, and SkyTruth that actively monitors all of the trackable fishing activity in the ocean to help put an end to overfishing. The platform is still in the prototype stage, but will be available to the public, permitting consumers, seafood suppliers, the media, anglers, and other stakeholders to way commercial fishing around the world.
A fisherman arranges dried fish near Manila Bay. Photo by Noel Celis/ AFP/ Getty Images.
2. $3.2 million goes toward to defend the rain forest from the palm oil industry.
The funds are headed to the Rainforest Acton Network to help protect one of the last rain forest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Indonesia makes much of the world’s palm petroleum, and producers are intentionally burning forests to clear the land for plantations. The fires have resulted in dangerous brown air, over half a million respiratory infections, and more carbon emissions each day than the daily activity of the entire United States economy. The grant will assist preserve 6.5 million acres of rain forest, which DiCaprio described as, “the vital lungs of our planet.”
Fires rage as the peatland wood is cleared for palm petroleum plantations in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/ Getty Images.
3. Another $3.4 million is headed to support indigenous populations as they defend their land against petroleum drilling.
ClearWater protects portions of the Amazon rain forest in Ecuador, where petroleum drilling has marred the once pristine scenery. The partnership with DiCaprio’s organization also brings together the Ceibo Alliance four indigenous nations, the Cfan, Secoya, Siona, and Waorani, working as one for the first time ever to protect their land, water, and rich culture.
A local activist demonstrates trash from an oil well in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Photos by Rodrigo Buendia/ AFP/ Getty Images.
4.$ 1 million in debt relief will be given in exchange for ocean and coral reef conservation off the coast of the Seychelles.
Off the coast of east Africa’s Seychelles Islands is a portion of the Indian Ocean about the size of Nebraska. Rising ocean temperatures and carbon levels are damaging coral reef in this place, which once a lush habitat for many marine animals.
To protect this vital ecosystem, the Nature Conservancy proposed a $30 million debt swap for the Seychelles Islands in exchange for a promise to protect marine life and promote conservation. DiCaprio’s foundation is contributing$ 1 million to the effort.
A sea turtle looks for a nesting place on the beach of one of the Seychelles outer islands. Photo by Roberto Schmidt/ AFP/ Getty Images.
5. And eventually, $1.5 million will be used to promote renewable energy in the U.S.
Stateside, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is teaming up with the Solutions Project, a nonprofit with a vision for a 100% renewable energy future. The $1.5 million will money smaller community-based attempts all over the country.
President Obama chats with Sandra Richter, the co-founder and CEO of Soofa, which produces solar-powered sofas that can be used to charge electronic devices. Photo by Mike Theiler-Pool/ Getty Images.
DiCaprio hopes to fund more projects, but he can’t do it alone.
Though DiCaprio’s passion is palpable, it can’t write checks. And as he reminds us, currently less than 3% of all philanthropic giving goes toward conservation, sustainability, and animal protection.
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