Leonardo DiCaprio is known to be a passionate advocate for environmental issues, having shown dedication to wildlife conservation throughout his Hollywood career.
However, even his most ardent admirers don’t realise just how influential the 44-year-old actor and environmentalist has been over the years.
The Golden Globe Award winner established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) in 1998, just one year after he made fans swoon as Jack ‘Paint me like one of your French girls’ Dawson in Titanic.
DiCaprio was only 24-years-old at the time, but already showing a deep commitment to protecting the planet for future generations.
In the two decades since, DiCaprio has harnessed his glittering fame and success for the best possible purpose; supporting more than 200 environmentally focused projects across the globe.
The extent of the foundation’s good work was evident at the 20th anniversary celebrations, a day which also celebrated DiCaprio’s 44th birthday.
As well as presenting several worthy awards, DiCaprio also gave some very special news; announcing $11 million worth of new grant funding across each of the foundation’s six program areas.
This significant boost brought the foundation’s total financial impact to more than $100 million, a staggering achievement reflected in the ambitious number of projects supported by LDF.
In a statement published on the foundation’s website, DiCaprio, who was designated as a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 2014, said:
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. 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. 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.
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LDF focus on the following six main program areas: Wildlands Conservation, Oceans Conservation, Climate Change, Indigenous Rights, Transforming California, and Innovative Solutions.
As well as working as the chairman for LDF, DiCaprio also serves on the board for organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Natural Resources Defense Council and National Geographic’s Pristine Seas,
Other Hollywood stars should take note of this momentous achievement. Oscars are all well and good, but the work supported by DiCaprio and the rest of the LDF team will have a far-reaching impact beyond any of our lifetimes.
You can donate to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) here
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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.