Leonardo DiCaprio Pledges To Donate $5 Million To Amazon Aid Efforts

Leonardo DiCaprio Pledges To Donate $5 Million To Amazon Aid Efforts

Leonardo DiCaprio Pledges To Donate $5 Million To Amazon Aid Efforts

French President Emmanuel Macron, hosting the G7 summit in Biarritz, said the leaders of the world's major industrialised nations were close to an agreement on how to help fight the fires and fix the devastation.

Di Caprio's organisation Earth Alliance will give the money to local groups and indigenous communities as they work to protect the Amazon.

The money is used to kickstart what DiCaprio says will be focusing "critical resources for indigenous communities and other local partners working to protect the life-sustaining biodiversity of the Amazon against the surge of fires now burning across the region".

The organization led by an independent team of scientists and conservationists has encouraged people to donate after its initial commitment of $5M.

According to the fund's website, more than 72,000 fires have been reported by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) - a stark increase from last year's 40,000 fires, which can largely be attributed to an unprecedented surge in deforestation by cattle operations and feed crops.

A record number of fires is ravaging the rain forest, sparking concern because of the Amazon's importance to the global environment.

The local organizations that Earth Alliance is financially supporting include Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida, Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon, Instituto Kabu, Instituto Raoni, and Instituto Socioambiental.

Following intense scrutiny Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro ordered Brazilian troops to the Amazon to help contain the conflagration and professed "profound love" for a region environmentalists accuse him of helping destroy.

"There is a major tragedy going on worldwide because of climate change and what's going on in the Amazon, which is really the lungs of the earth and vital to protecting us in the future", he told Reuters. Celebrities, including DiCaprio, brought attention to the fires on social media, while French leader Emmanuel Macron threatened to block a European Union trade deal with Brazil over the flames.

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