As Australia burns, people across the world have come together to help the country get back on its feet. Leonardo DiCaprio is the latest star to join in.
As Australia's wildfires continue to ravage through the country, emergency resources are under intense pressure. Therefore, organizations and individuals from the international community have stepped in to do their part. Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio is the latest actor to help out. Earth Alliance, the organization he currently co-chairs, has announced a $3 million fund to help provide relief to communities affected by Australia's natural emergency, The Daily Mail reports. All the funds will be donated towards assisting firefighters, helping local communities, and saving wildlife. In addition to this, the funds will be directed towards recovery efforts in the long-term.
Earth Alliance will be working closely with Aussie Ark, Bush Heritage, and WIRES Wildlife Rescue. The organization, founded in 2019, is co-chaired by of course DiCaprio himself, philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs (the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs) and investor Brian Sheth. DiCaprio, as a longtime environmental activist, has already established his namesake The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation so as to protect the "wellbeing of all Earth's inhabitants." The new organization will have different goals. At the moment, it seems to be focusing entirely on the ongoing wildfire crisis in Australia. Some of its recovery projects in the country include enabling wildlife recovery and supporting the restoration of Australia's natural ecosystems.
The collaboration with Aussie Ark was perhaps in the pipeline. In November last year, the actor shared a statement by Aussie Ark on Instagram. "Australian conservation efforts need a radical overhaul," the statement read. "Mitigating the intensity of these fires, mostly set by humans and their activities, can be achieved by restoring our native ecosystem engineers, such as bandicoots, bettongs, and potoroos. These species help to maintain healthy forests by continually turning over and breaking down forest leaf litter, thereby drastically reducing fuel load. In their absence, fires are more intense, often reaching the treetops, which can affect populations of species already on the brink, like the koala." The wildlife fund states on its website that goals will comprise "overpopulating unique ecosystems," which is expected to improve climate resilience and prevent wildfires in the future.
So far, the Australian bushfires have taken the lives of over one billion animals, as well as the lives of 26 Australian citizens. Thousands of homes have been destroyed by the fires as well. Therefore, the wildfire funding comes at an especially crucial time. DiCaprio's initiative, along with the initiatives of dozens of others, may just help Australia recover from the deadly natural disaster. Nonetheless, the government - and the larger international community - ought to focus on abating manmade climate change and its effects should we wish to successfully move forward.