Leonardo DiCaprio Helps Raise $5 Million for Amazon Fires, Celebrities Call for Action

Oscar award-winning actor and outspoken climate activist Leonardo DiCaprio has helped raise $5 million to help extinguish fires blazing in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, he announced on Instagram Sunday.

DiCaprio's foundation, Earth Alliance, has donated the money to five local organizations that are directly helping control the blaze. The Alliance was started by the actor in collaboration with business investors and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth.

DiCaprio wrote on Instagram last week, "The Brazilian Amazon—home to 1 million Indigenous people and 3 million species—has been burning for more than two weeks straight. There have been 74,000 fires in the Brazilian Amazon—a staggering 84 percent increase over the same period last year."

He added, "The Amazon needs more than our prayers."

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#Regram #RG @rainforestalliance: The lungs of the Earth are in flames. 🔥 The Brazilian Amazon—home to 1 million Indigenous people and 3 million species—has been burning for more than two weeks straight. There have been 74,000 fires in the Brazilian Amazon since the beginning of this year—a staggering 84% increase over the same period last year (National Institute for Space Research, Brazil). Scientists and conservationists attribute the accelerating deforestation to President Jair Bolsonaro, who issued an open invitation to loggers and farmers to clear the land after taking office in January.⁣ ⁣ The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution. Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth’s warming in check. ⁣ ⁣ The Amazon needs more than our prayers. So what can YOU do?⁣ ⁣ ✔ As an emergency response, donate to frontline Amazon groups working to defend the forest. ⁣ ✔ Consider becoming a regular supporter of the Rainforest Alliance’s community forestry initiatives across the world’s most vulnerable tropical forests, including the Amazon; this approach is by far the most effective defense against deforestation and natural forest fires, but it requires deep, long-term collaboration between the communities and the public and private sectors. ✔ Stay on top of this story and keep sharing posts, tagging news agencies and influencers. ⁣ ✔ Be a conscious consumer, taking care to support companies committed to responsible supply chains.⁣ Eliminate or reduce consumption of beef; cattle ranching is one of the primary drivers of Amazon deforestation. ✔ When election time comes, VOTE for leaders who understand the urgency of our climate crisis and are willing to take bold action—including strong governance and forward-thinking policy.⁣ ⁣ #RainforestAlliance #SaveTheAmazon #PrayForAmazonia #AmazonRainforest #ActOnClimate #ForestsResist #ClimateCrisis 📸: @mohsinkazmitakespictures / Windy.com

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Other A-list celebrities are also donating and voicing their concern for the fires, with some calling out Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for downplaying the impact of the fires.

Madonna wrote on Instagram Friday, "President Bolsonaro please change your policies and help not only your country but the entire planet. No economic development is more important than protecting this land. we need to WAKE -UP!!"

Kim Kardashian added a screenshot of DiCaprio's post to her story on Friday, with the caption, "Does anyone know what we can do to help?"

R&B singer Miguel pressed fans to tag the United Nations through an Instagram post on Thursday with the caption, "Don't pray for Brazil or the Amazon. Pray for yourself. This is a WORLD emergency and affects all of our security. Please post and tag united nations."

Brazil is the largest exporter of meat, providing close to 20 percent of total global beef exports according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report in July. And many celebrities pointed out Bolsonaro's move to embolden farmers by scaling back efforts to fight illegal clearing of the forest for cattle grazing.

Queer Eye's Bobby Berk wrote, "These lands are being set on fire deliberately in order to clear lands for animal agriculture. Reducing your meat consumption is one action you can take on a personal level to lessen the need for more open lands."

On Wednesday, Ariana Grande posted three photos of the fires in her Instagram Stories with the caption, "If ur not from Brazil, and don't have no clue about what's happening here, here it goes. The largest rainforest on the world is on fire, for the 16th day. And the media is not giving a f*** for this. #PrayForAmazonia."

Last week, Ellen Degeneres tweeted, "I don't know a lot about science, but I do know that allowing massive destruction of the #AmazonRainforest is terrible. Here are some ideas how to help."

Demi Lovato, Kris Jenner, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and P. Diddy are some of the other celebrities that have used their large fan base to sound an alarm on the issue and encourage donations to help in relief work.

Amazon basin contains 40 percent of Earth's rainforests and harbors 10 to 15 percent of the world's terrestrial species. Smoke from the blaze has reached as far east as the Atlantic coast blocking the sun as a far away as Saõ Paulo, more than 2,000 miles to the south. NASA is tracking a carbon monoxide plume stretching into the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans from Brazil.

Fuel to the Fire
The Amazon has suffered from 40,300 fires so far this year, the fastest rate of burning since 2013. Victor Moriyama/Getty
Leonardo DiCaprio Helps Raise $5 Million for Amazon Fires, Celebrities Call for Action | U.S.