Why is it important?
As one of the most active celebrities in the international climate movement, Leonardo DiCaprio has already used his reach several times to create greater awareness of the climate crisis. Now the actor and environmental activist announced that he is donating US $ 43 million (around 35 million euros) for ecological restoration on the Galápagos Islands.
According to UK news site The Guardian, quit DiCaprio is also launching Re: wild, which he founded together with a group of nature conservation scientists – an environmental organization that works to protect wild animals and restore biodiversity. In cooperation with the National Park Management of Galápagos, the non-governmental organization Island Conservation and the local communities, Re: wild is planning to rewild the entire archipelago of Galápagos and Latin America in the Pacific Ocean. Lost animal species are also to be reintroduced there.
For the project on the Galápagos Islands, DiCaprio has teamed up with Paula Castaño, a veterinarian and nature conservation expert in Ecuador. For a short time she took over his Twitter– and Instagram accounts to share information about the promotions.
“When I traveled to the Galápagos Islands, I met Paula Castaño and other environmentalists in Ecuador who work day in and day out to save an irreplaceable place on this planet,” said DiCaprio. “The much-needed environmental heroes in the world are already here. Now we just have to face the challenges and support them. “
The focus is on protecting the UNESCO world natural heritage and rebuilding biodiversity
The $ 43 million will go towards a number of conservation projects, including restoring Floreana Island, establishing a pink iguanas breeding program, and strengthening Galápagos Islands protection against tourism. The project is also set to reintroduce 13 locally extinct species – including the Floreanaspot thrush, first described by the English naturalist Charles Darwin. Here he cataloged giant tortoises and marine iguanas almost 200 years ago, which inspired him to develop the theory of evolution, which he recorded in his book “On the Origin of Species”.
The Galápagos Islands are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are described as the “melting pot of marine species”. But tourism, illegal fishing, and introduced animal and plant species have weakened the islands’ ecosystem. For this reason, nature conservation groups are actively committed to reintegrating endangered species into the local environment. Among other things, three dozen endangered giant tortoises raised in captivity were released into the wild at the beginning of the year.
Castaño explains that measures to increase naturalization can have a quick and positive impact on building biodiversity and protecting wildlife: “We will see how all these efforts pay off, not only in the Galápagos Islands, but also on other archipelagos in Latin America, “she said.
For Leonardo DiCaprio these actions are just the beginning, because his support for the Galápagos Islands is one of many projects that Re: wild has planned. The organization will also work to protect the red colobus monkeys on the African mainland, set up a breeding program for the Sumatran rhinoceros in Indonesia and increase the number of diamond crocodiles in Cuba.
If you too want to stand up for environmental protection, then sign this petition, which calls on the heads of state and government of this world to fulfill their obligation to act.