Elephant at Mt. Kilamanjaro, Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Photo: Colleen-Cullen, IFAW, 2008.

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation grants $15 million to global conservation efforts

July 14, 2015

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation grants $15 million to global conservation efforts

In a continued effort to preserve and protect the future of the planet, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has provided $15 million in grants to organizations implementing innovative and impactful environmental projects around the globe.

This new round of grants furthers the Foundation’s strategic approach to tackling some of today’s most pressing environmental issues. From funding concrete and early-phase solutions to protect key species and threatened marine and terrestrial ecosystems, to empowering indigenous communities to be the long-term stewards and protectors of their natural resources, these grants will support trusted nonprofits, results-driven conservation projects, and collaborative initiatives across the world.

“The destruction of our planet continues at a pace we can no longer afford to ignore,” said Leonardo DiCaprio. “I am proud to support these organizations who are working to solve humankind’s greatest challenge.”

We have a responsibility to innovate a future where the habitability of our planet does not come at the expense of those who inhabit it.     — Leonardo DiCaprio

“Our partners on the ground are up against powerful industries that want unfettered access to our planet’s resources,” said Justin Winters, Executive Director of the Foundation. “We are dedicated to helping further their efforts to protect our oceans, forests, and wildlands.”

“No organization or individual alone can protect our planet’s life-giving engine. Partnering with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation allows National Geographic Pristine Seas to help protect the wildest places in the ocean, so that the ocean can continue to provide for all of us,” said Dr. Enric Sala, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.

“The endangered gorillas of Virunga National Park remain at threat of extinction in the coming years and The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is focusing its efforts on helping us to restore a critically important population in a way that will also enhance local development and stability amongst the communities living around the park. We are delighted to be working together on this important and exciting project,” said Emmanuel de Merode, Director, Virunga National Park

Since 2010, the Foundation has funded more than 70 high-impact projects in more than 40 countries across the globe.

“The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation brings a strategic focus to helping coastal communities protect biodiversity,” said J. Charles Fox, Program Director of Oceans 5. “They provide significant knowledge and capacity to Oceans 5, so that we can better achieve our objectives for ocean conservation.”

“The Foundation’s pioneering vision to invest in an indigenous-led movement for rainforest conservation and cultural survival is providing vital support to Ecuador’s northern Amazon,” said Mitch Anderson, Founder and Executive Director of ClearWater. “This support is poised to protect millions of acres of tropical rainforest by empowering and strengthening the indigenous nationalities to fend off the extractive industries.”

“Digital Democracy works to fundamentally change the way that traditionally marginalized groups are able to advocate for their rights. The Foundation’s support is critical to us taking this work to the next level,” said Emily Jacobi, Executive Director of Digital Democracy. “Thanks to the grant, we are taking the lessons we have learned with communities in the Amazon to build open source technology tools that can be used by grassroots leaders around the world working to protect the planet.”

The full list of organizations benefitting from these grants:

  • Amazon Watch
  • Biomimicry Institute
  • Bioneers
  • California Wolf Center: Pacific Wolf Coalition
  • ClearWater
  • Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
  • Conservation International
  • Dark Snow
  • Digital Democracy
  • Earth Echo International
  • Empowered by Light
  • International Fund for Animal Welfare
  • National Geographic: Pristine Seas
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Oceans 5
  • Save The Elephants
  • SavingSpecies
  • Tetiaroa Society
  • The Conservation Land Trust
  • The Solutions Project
  • Tony Fitzjohn/George Adamson African Wildlife Preservation Trust
  • Tree People
  • Virunga Fund
  • WaterKeeper
  • Wildlife Conservation Network
  • Wildlife Conservation Society
  • World Wildlife Fund

In addition, the Foundation supported several winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s largest prize for grassroots environmental activists, to help advance their campaigns. These winners include:

  • Fatima Jibrell of Adeso
  • Rudi Putra of Forest, Nature and Environment of Aceh (HAkA) & Leuser Conservation Forum (FKL)
  • Dimitry Lisitsyn of Sakhalin Environment Watch

These grants continue the Foundation’s mission to support conservation efforts around the world. To learn more about the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, go to www.leonardodicaprio.org, like Leonardo DiCaprio on Facebook and follow @LeoDiCaprio on Twitter and @LeonardoDiCaprio on Instagram.


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