Image source: Flickr
Yesterday, Earth Alliance committed $5 million towards the preservation of the Amazon rainforest following the recent wildfires crisis. The environmental initiative is backed by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, alongside philanthropists Lauren Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth and was launched in July.
Last week saw the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo unusually submerged in darkness at 3pm, for an hour. The spectacle highlighted the forest fire crisis happening miles away in the largest rainforest on the planet. More than 72,000 fires have been reported by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE); a significant increase from the 40,000 fires in Brazil at this point last year.
The organization’s emergency Amazon Forest Fund was formed to focus critical resources on the key protections needed to maintain the "lungs of the planet". The initial fund and any further donations will be distributed directly to local partners and the indigenous communities protecting the Amazon, the diverse wildlife and the overall health of the planet. 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) are the five local groups helping address the cause.
“We are deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis in the Amazon, which highlights the delicate balance of climate, biodiversity, and the wellbeing of indigenous peoples”, DiCaprio posted on his Instagram yesterday. The Oscar-winning actor and environmentalist has also added a link to the Amazon fund to his bio on the image-sharing platform, on which he has a following of over 34 million people.
Following the global pressure to take action, Brazilian president Bolsonaro authorized the Defense Ministry to intervene with troops in seven states. Meanwhile, international leaders also gathered at the G7 summit today and agreed to pledge about $20 million in emergency funds to tackle the fires.