As reported in a recent article by The Guardian, Leonardo DiCaprio has pledged $43m towards an initiative aimed at bolstering conservation activities throughout the Galapagos Islands. The announcement follows the establishment of Re:wild - an environmental organisation founded by DiCaprio and a group of renowned conservation scientists earlier in the year.
The initiative will work alongside Re:wild, the Galápagos National Park Directorate, Island Conservation local communities, and other partners, to help rewild the Galapagos Archipelago - as well as all other Latin American islands in the Pacific.
DiCaprio’s pledge will fund efforts to restore Floreana Island, including the reintroduction of 13 locally extinct species. It will also finance captive breeding programmes to save animals such as the pink iguana, and to improve the protection of the marine environment from the impacts of tourism.
Paula A Castaño, an island restoration specialist who recently took over DiCaprio’s social media accounts, said “time is running out for so many species, especially on islands where their small populations are vulnerable and threatened.” She added, “we are not trying to remove humans from the picture. We are trying to all work together to rewild these ecosystems, and support the community as well. They want to be able to continue to thrive together with nature.”
Marcelo Mata Guerrero, Ecuador’s minister of environment and water said, “these kinds of partnerships that leverage technical, social and financial innovations, are exactly what we need around the world to restore the health of our planet.”
To date, DiCaprio has donated more than $100m to a variety of environmental conservation efforts.