Leonardo DiCaprio's Foundation Pledges $5 Million To Help Stop Amazon Fires

by Sarah Bregel

Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation just made a huge donation to help fight the fires in The Amazon and is urging others to do the same

The Amazon rain forest is burning at an unprecedented rate. To put it bluntly, the situation is bad, really bad, and right now, it’s growing by the second. According to Brazil’s INPE, the National Institute for Space Research, about 1.5 soccer fields worth of rain forest are being destroyed every single minute.

What’s worse is that it doesn’t seem like leaders around the world are doing all that much to rectify the terrifying situation. But Leonardo DiCaprio, actor, activist, forever bachelor, and boy crush of all of our youths, is. His foundation just threw a few dollars at the situation.

Five million to be exact.

It’s nice to see Leo doing something because last week, it basically felt like few people cared. The rain forest had been burning for weeks and it wasn’t getting much media coverage. It’s been called “the lungs of the world” and it’s pretty true. It’s a vital source of carbon for our planet that slows down the rate of global warming.

If it sounds scary, that’s because it is. It’s downright terrifying. Why we aren’t acting like it’s a flat out emergency (maybe the biggest emergency our planet has ever seen?) is utterly confounding.

Naturally, social media erupted with calls for our nations leaders to care and hashtag #savetheamazon started trending. Especially after this tweet went viral.

When it comes to putting out fires so big that all you can see is smoke for miles and miles, literally even from space, it’s going to take a whole lot to put them out.

Thankfully, Leo started a brand new “Amazon Forest Fund” through his organization Earth Alliance, and it’s through this fund that the five million dollar donation came about.

On Sunday, the organization announced that donations will go “directly to local partners and the indigenous communities protecting the Amazon.”

DiCaprio is already pretty well-known for his activism at this point. In recent years, he has started foundations that gave money to important environmental causes, put together plans for fighting climate change and produced films on the issue. He also produced the 2016 documentary, Before The Flood, and now, he has a brand-new HBO documentary, Ice on Fire.

We should pretty much be throwing all our money at the rain forest. But most of us don’t have millions. It honestly feels like it would be more useful to get on a plane to Brazil and start throwing buckets of water at the raging flames than to send what’s in most of our bank accounts. Leo is certainly doing a lot with his resources and reach, though. And while it’d be great if every freaking leader in the world would follow suit, his efforts are important because they inspire others to do what they can.