LOS ANGELES — Earth Alliance, an environmental initiative backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, has committed $5 million toward the preservation of the Amazon rainforest following an alarming surge in wildfires.
After launching Sunday, the organization’s emergency Amazon Forest Fund is working to support local partners and indigenous communities in their efforts to protect the sensitive habitats within the Amazon. The funds will be donated to five local organizations: 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).
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.
The fires have also sparked widespread outrage online, prompting a number of celebrities to use their social media platforms to raise awareness.
“The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution,” DiCaprio said in an Instagram post. “Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth’s warming in check.”
Founded in July by DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth, Earth Alliance is a climate change organization led by an independent management team of scientists and conservationists, working to protect ecosystems and wildlife, ensure climate justice, support renewable energy and secure indigenous rights.