Unless you’ve lived under a rock recently, you know Leonardo DiCaprio has become one of the biggest stars on the planet. However, you might not know that he’s also on a mission to save the world! Now, he’s invested nearly $50 million to preserve the Galapagos Islands…
Leonardo DiCaprio’s New Team
Over the past few decades, Leonardo DiCaprio has become equally as famous for his environmental work as his film career. Most notably, in addition to launching an eco-friendly resort, the star has also helped found the non-profit Re:Wild, alongside the Global Wildlife Conservation. “Re:Wild offers a bold vision to amplify and scale the local solutions being led by Indigenous peoples and local communities, nongovernmental organizations, companies, and government agencies, to help increase their impact around the world,” the iconic actor explained. “The environmental heroes that the planet needs are already here. Now we all must rise to the challenge and join them.”
The name comes from the term “rewilding,” which “involves holistic solutions to remove barriers and reestablish vibrant wildlife populations and intact, functional, and resilient ecosystems that effectively integrate people.”
Most recently, DiCaprio, on behalf of Re:Wild, donated $43 million to over 40 different partners, including the Galápagos Island Conservation and The Galapagos Initiative. “When I traveled to the Galápagos Islands, I met with Paula Castaño and other environmental heroes in Ecuador working day in and day out to save one of the most irreplaceable places on the planet,” DiCaprio said of his donation.” I’m excited to share her team’s work and to support the longstanding effort to protect and restore these iconic islands, alongside the team at Re:wild.”
Restoring Galapagos Islands
Thanks to DiCaprio, The Galapagos Initiative wants to give 13 nearly extinct species a new lease on life on the islands as well as help 54 other threatened species repopulate. Over the next ten years, two dozen islands will also be restored and protected. But it’s not just about the environment! The community on the islands will come to a more sustainable type of economy as well as work with the experts to give nature a second chance.
After the Galapagos Islands, the team says the same tactic can be used for other struggling locations. “Time is running out for so many species, especially on islands where their small populations are vulnerable and threatened,” Castaño said. “We know how to prevent these extinctions and restore functional and thriving ecosystems—we have done it—but we need to replicate these successes, innovate and go to scale.”
“We need catalytic investments like the one announced today to replicate our successes in the Galápagos and elsewhere,” said Wes Sechrest, Re:Wild chief scientist and CEO “Re: wild’s work with partners is hope in action–from Darwin’s laboratory to Australia’s wildlands to the Congo forests of Central Africa.” Hopefully DiCaprio’s money truly helps!