Leonardo DiCaprio speaks on stage during the 2019 Global Citizen Festival at Central Park on September 28, 2019 in New York City.
Ryan Muir for Global Citizen
Why the citizens of the world should care
Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio has announced a pledge of $ 43 million for ecological restoration efforts in the Galapagos Islands, according to the Guardian. The move is part of DiCaprio’s ongoing initiatives to promote climate action and conservation efforts.
DiCaprio ad Monday the launch of Re: wild, an environmental organization that seeks to protect wildlife and restore biodiversity, which he founded with a group of conservation scientists. In partnership with the management of the Galapagos National Park, the conservation of the islands and the local communities, Re: wild plans to re-enrich – or reintroduce animal species lost in an environment – the entirety of the archipelagos of the Galapagos and Latin America. in the Pacific Ocean.
Part of Re: wild’s main mission is to amplify the voices of indigenous peoples and local communities.
For the Galapagos Islands project, DiCaprio teamed up with Paula Castaño, wildlife veterinarian and conservationist in Ecuador, to resume his Twitter and Instagram accounts to share information on regeneration efforts.
“When I traveled to the Galapagos Islands, I met 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,” said DiCaprio . “The environmental heroes the planet needs are already here. Now we must all rise to the challenge and join them. “
The $ 43 million, pledged by DiCaprio and Re: wild partners, will go to various conservation projects, such as restoring Floreana Island, creating a breeding program for pink iguanas and strengthening measures conservation to protect the Galapagos from tourism. The project will also reintroduce 13 locally extinct species – including the mockingbird Floreana, which was first described by English naturalist Charles Darwin.
The Galapagos Islands are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and described as a “melting pot of marine species”. They are well known for being the site where Darwin cataloged giant tortoises and marine iguanas, inspiring the theory of evolution by natural selection set out in his book. About the origin of species.
However, the impacts of tourism, illegal fishing and invasive species have led to the formation of the fragile ecosystem of the islands. For this reason, conservation groups have made strides in adding endangered species to the environment. These include the release of three dozen endangered giant tortoises that were captive-bred in the wild earlier this year.
Castaño said reforestation efforts can have an immediate and positive impact on boosting the islands’ biodiversity and protecting wildlife.
“We will see the fruits of all these efforts, and not just in the Galapagos, but beyond the archipelagos of Latin America,” she said.
DiCaprio’s commitment to the Galapagos Islands is just one of many projects Re: wild has planned. The organization will also work to protect red colobus monkeys in mainland Africa, create a Sumatran rhino breeding program in Indonesia, and restore the presence of Cuban crocodiles.
One of the most active celebrities in the climate movement, DiCaprio has long used his platform to raise awareness about climate change and fund environmental actions. With the $ 43 million pledge to restore wildlife on the Galapagos Islands alone, it’s clear it’s only just getting started.