Amazon fires: Leonardo DiCaprio donates $5m to tackle rainforest blaze

27 August 2019, 13:08

The Hollywood actor has donated a huge amount of funds to help
The Hollywood actor has donated a huge amount of funds to help. Picture: PA
Mared Parry

By Mared Parry

The Hollywood actor is famed for being very passionate about the environment and he's donated a few of his many millions to help with battling the Amazonian blaze.

Leonardo DiCaprio has donated a whopping £4.1m towards helping the Amazon rainforest following the huge horror blaze that's currently ongoing.

His organisation, Earth Alliance will give the millions to local groups and native communities as they work to protect the Amazon and all its inhabitants.

READ MORE: The full scale of the Amazon rainforest damage is impossible to predict

Local fire services are working tirelessly to try and control the fires and its damage
Local fire services are working tirelessly to try and control the fires and its damage. Picture: Getty

Leonardo has a net worth of around £200m, so although the money will go a long way towards helping the fire, it'll be hardly anything for him.

He founded Earth Alliance along with two other philanthropists in July, with an aim to protect wildlife, push for climate justice and secure indigenous rights.

Their Amazon Forest Fund is the group's initiative to raise funds for the protection of the specific area.

Leo is a proud environmentalist
Leo is a proud environmentalist. Picture: PA

The organisations receiving the funding from Leo are Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida (Kayapo), Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), Instituto Kabu (Kayapo), Instituto Raoni (Kayapo) and Instituto Socioambiental (ISA).

The rainforest - which is so large it stretches over NINE countries in South America - has already had more than 72,000 fires so far this year according to The National Institute Space Research in Brazil.

This is up from 40,000 at this time last year, and the current situation has been rapidly increasing in severity, with around 2,500 active fires at the moment.

Leonardo, 44, has been posting constantly over the past few days since the news of the vastly-speed fire made it into the media, and has been urging his fans to take action.

The Wolf of Wall Street star has a whopping 34.5m followers and his images have been attracting millions of likes and comments from concerned fans.

In an Instagram posted this weekend, the heartthrob said he is "deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis in the Amazon, which highlights the delicate balance of climate, biodiversity, and the wellbeing of indigenous peoples".

The rainforest, which is set mostly in Brazil, but also stretches to Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana, is the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the entire rose with and estimated 390 billion individual trees divided into 16,000 species.

A statement on the Earth Alliance website says: "The destruction of the Amazon rainforest is rapidly releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, destroying an ecosystem that absorbs millions of tonnes of carbon emissions every year and is one of the planet's best defences against the climate crisis."

The horror blaze is damaging thousands of different wildlife species
The horror blaze is damaging thousands of different wildlife species. Picture: PA

The surge in forest fires has been heavily linked to a rise in deliberate deforestation for cattle farming.

Jair Bolsonaro, the President of Brazil has been accused on multiple occasions of encouraging the destruction of the Amazon through a lack of action on environmental issues.

However, Jair has claimed that the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) - like charities - could be to blame for starting the record number of fires, however, he hasn't given any evidence for this claim.

The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has stated that the UK will donate a whopping £10m towards the protection of the rainforest.