Leonardo DiCaprio's Foundation Pledges $15M to Protect Wildlife, Combat Global Warming
"The destruction of our planet continues at a pace we can no longer afford to ignore," said the actor. "We have a responsibility to innovate a future where the habitability of our planet does not come at the expense of those who inhabit it."
In a multiyear effort to "preserve and protect the future of the planet," actor Leonardo DiCaprio has directed his foundation to give $15 million in grants this year to environmental organizations working on conservation projects around the world.
"The destruction of our planet continues at a pace we can no longer afford to ignore," said actor said in a statement. "We have a responsibility to innovate a future where the habitability of our planet does not come at the expense of those who inhabit it. I am proud to support these organizations who are working to solve humankind’s greatest challenge."
Beneficiaries of the grant funds range from groups working on "concrete and early-phase solutions to protect key species and threatened marine and terrestrial ecosystems, to empowering indigenous communities to be the long-term stewards and protectors of their natural resources."
"Our partners on the ground are up against powerful industries that want unfettered access to our planet’s resources," said Justin Winters, executive director of the foundation. "We are dedicated to helping further their efforts to protect our oceans, forests and wildlands."
Inspired by Al Gore’s campaign on global warming, DiCaprio redoubled his foundation’s efforts to help fund people working on pressing environmental issues around the globe. Since 2010, the actor’s foundation has funded more than 70 high-impact projects in more than 40 countries, with a mission to protect wildlife and biodiversity, conserve oceans and forests and address climate change.
"No organization or individual alone can protect our planet's life-giving engine. Partnering with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation allows National Geographic Pristine Seas to help protect the wildest places in the ocean, so that the ocean can continue to provide for all of us," said Dr. Enric Sala, National Geographic explorer-in-residence.
Mitch Anderson, founder and executive director of ClearWater, said support from the actor’s foundation is enabling his group to protect millions of acres of tropical rainforest Ecuador’s northern Amazon "by empowering and strengthening the indigenous nationalities to fend off the extractive industries."
Among the many organizations benefiting from the grants are: Amazon Watch, California Wolf Center: Pacific Wolf Coalition, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Save The Elephants, Tree People, WaterKeeper and the World Wildlife Fund.