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Leonardo DiCaprio Launches $3 Million Australia Wildlife Fund

by : Julia Banim on : 10 Jan 2020 08:00
Leonardo DiCaprio Launches $3 Million Australia Wildlife FundPA

Leonardo DiCaprio has made a hugely significant contribution towards the desperate efforts to protect Australian wildlife as the bushfires continue to rage.

DiCaprio, 45, has long made his dedication to environmental issues clear, with his Earth Alliance partnership having been established to protect vulnerable wildlife and threatened ecosystems on a global scale.

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Earth Alliance has now pledged $3 million to launch the Australia Wildfire Fund, which will work to address the ongoing bushfire crisis in Australia, alongside organisations such as Aussie Ark, Bush Heritage and Wires Wildlife Rescue.

Leonardo DiCaprioJulia Banim

According to Aussie Ark, donations will be made in US dollars:

The Australia Wildlife Fund is an international response to the catastrophic bushfires raging through the country, launched with a $3 million USD commitment from Earth Alliance.

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The website has stated that 100% of donations will go towards assisting local firefighting efforts, supporting affected communities and rescuing wildlife, as well as implementing long-term solutions to ‘restore and repopulate unique ecosystems destroyed by the wildfires’.

This will reportedly involve working to improve climate resilience and to reduce the threat of wildfires in the future.

According to statistics provided on the Aussie Ark website, 20 million acres of land have been burned during the wildfire crisis, resulting in the deaths of at least 27 people.

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More than 2,000 homes have been left destroyed, while around one billion animals have been killed, either directly or indirectly, by the flames.

Furthermore, 350 million tonnes of carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere which is equal to two-thirds of Australia’s yearly emissions from man-made sources, as the New York Post reports.

Nearly 200 People Arrested In Australia For Deliberately Lighting BushfiresPA Images

Earth Alliance is co-chaired by DiCaprio, businesswoman Laurene Powell Jobs, and investor Brian Sheth, with the shared aim of bringing together ‘the best minds in science, conservation and philanthropy to urgently respond to a growing climate crisis and the staggering loss of biodiversity threatening the stability of life on Earth’.

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In November, the Academy Award winner showed his support for the people of Australia by re-posting a deeply affecting statement from Aussie Ark:

Australian conservation efforts need a radical overhaul. Mitigating the intensity of these fires, mostly set by humans and their activities, can be achieved by restoring our native ecosystem engineers, such as bandicoots, bettongs and potoroos.

These species help to maintain healthy forests by continually turning over and breaking down forest leaf litter, thereby drastically reducing fuel load. In their absence, fires are more intense, often reaching the treetops, which can affect populations of species already on the brink, like the Koala.

Slow growing and ancient Australian East coast temperate forests are of global significance, as these forests have some of the highest carbon storage on the planet. Fires of this intensity threaten their very existence but managing wildlife to reduce fire intensity and protect forests is underappreciated for its importance in reducing the release of carbon into the atmosphere.

Aussie Ark works with Australia’s most threatened and imperiled wildlife, several of which are extinct on the mainland. Native wildlife conservation sanctuaries provide refuge, as well as source populations for rewilding and restoring Australia’s native ecosystems.

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#Regram #RG @aussieark: Officials have issued a warning of "catastrophic fire danger" as firefighters battle over 60 blazes raging across the Australian state of New South Wales, which has caused the tragic loss of lives and livelihoods. There have already been significant harmful impacts to wildlife, with entire ecosystems up in smoke and individual species affected, including around 350 Koalas presumed dead – all before the fires reach their peak. Our hearts go out to the victims of the current fires, which we know have been exacerbated by the decline of native biodiversity. Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate on Earth, and the country is amongst the worst 7 countries worldwide for biodiversity loss. Australian conservation efforts need a radical overhaul. Mitigating the intensity of these fires, mostly set by humans and their activities, can be achieved by restoring our native ecosystem engineers, such as bandicoots, bettongs and potoroos. These species help to maintain healthy forests by continually turning over and breaking down forest leaf litter, thereby drastically reducing fuel load. In their absence, fires are more intense, often reaching the treetops, which can affect populations of species already on the brink, like the Koala. Slow growing and ancient Australian East coast temperate forests are of global significance, as these forests have some of the highest carbon storage on the planet. Fires of this intensity threaten their very existence but managing wildlife to reduce fire intensity and protect forests is underappreciated for its importance in reducing the release of carbon into the atmosphere. Aussie Ark works with Australia’s most threatened and imperiled wildlife, several of which are extinct on the mainland. Native wildlife conservation sanctuaries provide refuge, as well as source populations for rewilding and restoring Australia’s native ecosystems. Our sincere well wishes go out to all those affected by these devastating fires. If you encounter any injured wildlife, please contact your local animal authorities for rescue and rehabilitation.

A post shared by Leonardo DiCaprio (@leonardodicaprio) on

You can donate to Aussie Ark’s Australia Wildlife Fund here.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Celebrity, Australia, Bushfire, Leonardo DiCaprio

Credits

Aussie Ark and 2 others
  1. Aussie Ark

    Australia Wildfire Fund

  2. New York Post

    Australia’s leaders stand firm on anti-climate change message after bushfires

  3. leonardodicaprio/Instagram

    leonardodicaprio/Instagram