Our planet is a wonderful colossal ecosystem that sustains every living thing that calls it home. As the Earth has come under enormous pressure from a variety of threats, its protection has never been more urgent. In the past 50 years, the Earth has lost one-third of its wild lands and one-third of its coral reefs. And climate change will only exacerbate the loss of biodiversity and natural environs like forests, wetlands and marine ecosystems. In addition to the climate change, they are threatened by human exploitation and development, pollution and increasing encroachment of invasive species.
Leonardo DiCaprio has been very vocal about the protection of our environment for at least two decades. He founded Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) in 1998. The Foundation has provided financial support to at least 200 projects since then. It has reached over 50 millions followers that have engaged in many activities ranging from protecting sharks in California, tigers in Asia, and elephants in Africa.
LDF has concentrated its effort on six programs:
Wildlands Conservation aims to protect eco-regions around the planet and restore wildlife populations. Some of its projects include preserving the Chihuahuan Desert, the Giant Sequoia National Monument, or protecting wildlife animals like tigers in Nepal or mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Oceans Conservation focuses on protecting 30% of the oceans by 2030 through expansion of protected marine ecosystems. LDF also works to limit overfishing and prevent the extinction of marine life.
Climate Change directs its efforts to promote impactful solutions to tackle the changing climate like the complete transition to renewable energy by 2050.
Indigenous Rights funds programs that help native peoples defend their land, water, and culture and promote public awareness efforts to the plight of the indigenous communities.
Transforming California, through Environment Now state program promotes efforts to produce sustainable food and energy.
Innovative Solutions employs newest technology to fund research into climate science, development of clean energy, and sustainable agricultural practices that tackle food insecurity.
In recognition of his efforts to bring awareness to the environmental crisis, the United Nations made Leonardo DiCaprio the United Nations Messenger of Peace for Climate Change. He also serves on the boards of several organizations, such as Wildlife Fund, Natural Resource Defense Council, or National Geographic’s Pristine Seas to name just a few.