Leonardo DiCaprio has quietly done more to fight climate change than most nations

While many world leaders try to figure out how they can get their nations to do more to fight climate change, actor Leonardo DiCaprio has been quietly doing something to fight it for the last two decades.

Human exploitation of our planet’s vast resources has put us on a path to destruction that only we can prevent. It’s going to take time, money and dedication. And we don’t have a lot of time left to take meaningful action before it’s too late.

The United Nations is already working with scientists on a massive plan to protect 30 to 50 percent of the Earth, especially since a new report warns that one million species are at risk of extinction because of human activities.

DiCaprio, most widely known as the star of James Cameron’s blockbuster film Titanic, knew the importance of fighting climate change and protecting the planet 20 years ago. And that’s why he founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which is “dedicated to the long-term health and wellbeing of all Earth’s inhabitants.”

“Through collaborative partnerships, we support innovative projects that protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction, while restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities,” the Foundation says on it’s website.

The Foundation’s work focuses on six areas, including wildlife and landscapes, marine life and oceans, climate change, media science and technology, indigenous rights and the environment now program in California.

Tens of millions of dollars have been spent each year on environmental projects around the world every year, making DiCaprio one of the most active and consequential environmentalists in history. And he’s donated a lot of his personal fortune to the cause, and recently celebrated the addition of $11 million in new grants last year to mark the 20 anniversary of his founding of the organization.

DiCaprio announced the news at the celebration:

“When I founded LDF 20 years ago, I did so based on the simple idea that we could make a real difference by directly funding some of the most effective environmental projects – whether it be individuals, grassroots movements or major nonprofits, we wanted to focus on getting critical funding to those who could have the greatest impact,” DiCaprio said. “We are extremely proud to celebrate 20 years of this model.”

“Since 1998, we have supported over 200 projects on every continent and in every ocean from habitat and species conservation, renewable energy, climate change, indigenous rights, and more,” he continued. “I am pleased to announce $11 million in new grants across our six program areas, bringing the total financial impact of LDF to over $100 million.”

Among the many projects funded is the Elephant Crisis Fund to end ivory hunting, the Shark Conservation Fund to restore populations and prevent extinction, something several shark attack survivors are coming together to advocate, and a Lion Recovery Fund to save lions and restore their habitats. And those three are just the tip of the iceberg.

This is the kind of action that every nation should strive to copy on an international scale. Leonardo DiCaprio is going above and beyond the call to do something to save the planet, but he can’t do it alone no matter how much he donates or how hard he works. It’s going to take worldwide cooperation from individuals, corporations and governments to achieve victory.

Everyone is going to have to be a little more like Leo.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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