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Leonardo DiCaprio fund donating $5M to help quell Amazon fires

Click to play video: 'Leonardo DiCaprio says learning of Amazon fires made him ‘depressed’' Leonardo DiCaprio says learning of Amazon fires made him ‘depressed’
WATCH: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio urged governments to do more to protect the Amazon rainforest during a movie premiere in Japan on Monday, adding that he "immediately felt depressed" about the situation – Aug 26, 2019

A new environmental foundation backed by Leonardo DiCaprio is pledging $5 million in aid to the Amazon, which has been swept by wildfires.

Through Earth Alliance — which was created last month by DiCaprio and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth — the Amazon Forest Fund will provide money to five local organizations working to protect the Amazon.

WATCH BELOW: Record-breaking wildfires scorch Brazil’s Amazon rainforests

Click to play video: 'Record-breaking wildfires scorch Brazil’s Amazon rainforests' Record-breaking wildfires scorch Brazil’s Amazon rainforests
Record-breaking wildfires scorch Brazil’s Amazon rainforests – Aug 22, 2019

The climate change organization is also seeking donations to help repair the Brazilian rainforest, called the “lungs of the planet.”

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READ MORE: Canada pledges $15M, water bombers to fight blazes in Amazon rainforest

“Yesterday, we launched the Amazon Forest Fund, the first initiative from the newly formed @EarthAlliance,” DiCaprio wrote on Instagram Monday. “The fund was set up to help local partners and the indigenous communities on the front lines protecting the Amazon.”

“Please follow @EarthAlliance to stay up to date with the action taking place and for further ways that you can help support,” the actor wrote.

The funds will be donated to Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida (Kayapo), Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), Instituto Kabu (Kayapo), Instituto Raoni (Kayapo) and Instituto Socioambiental (ISA).

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In DiCaprio’s Amazon Forest Fund announcement, he wrote: “100 per cent of your donation will go to partners who are working on the ground to protect the Amazon.
Earth Alliance is committed to helping protect the natural world. We are deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis in the Amazon, which highlights the delicate balance of climate, biodiversity, and the wellbeing of indigenous peoples.”

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#Regram #RG @earthalliance #EarthAlliance, launched in July by @LeonardoDiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Brian Sheth, has formed an emergency Amazon Forest Fund with a commitment of $5 million dollars to focus critical resources for indigenous communities and other local partners working to protect the life-sustaining biodiversity of the Amazon against the surge of fires currently burning across the region. Join Us. 100 percent of your donation will go to partners who are working on the ground to protect the Amazon. Earth Alliance is committed to helping protect the natural world. We are deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis in the Amazon, which highlights the delicate balance of climate, biodiversity, and the wellbeing of indigenous peoples. To learn more or to donate, please visit ealliance.org/amazonfund (see link in bio) Photos: @chamiltonjames, @danielbeltraphoto 2017

A post shared by Leonardo DiCaprio (@leonardodicaprio) on

Brazilian federal experts reported a record number of wildfires across the country this year, up 84 per cent over the same period in 2018.

READ MORE: G7 leaders agree on $20M plan to help fight Amazon rainforest fires

According to the fund’s website, more than 72,000 fires have been reported by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

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WATCH BELOW: International pressure mounts on Brazil to save Amazon rain forests

Click to play video: 'International pressure mounts on Brazil to save Amazon rain forests' International pressure mounts on Brazil to save Amazon rain forests
International pressure mounts on Brazil to save Amazon rain forests – Aug 24, 2019

Brazil’s satellite monitoring agency has recorded more than 41,000 fires in the Amazon region so far this year — with more than half of those coming this month alone.

Fires are common in Brazil in the annual dry season, but they are much more widespread this year.

WATCH BELOW: Protesters in Rio de Janeiro demand action from Bolsonaro government as Amazon burns

Click to play video: 'Protesters in Rio de Janeiro demand action from Bolsonaro government as Amazon burns' Protesters in Rio de Janeiro demand action from Bolsonaro government as Amazon burns
Protesters in Rio de Janeiro demand action from Bolsonaro government as Amazon burns – Aug 23, 2019

Experts say most of the fires are set by farmers or ranchers clearing existing farmland. But the same monitoring agency has reported a sharp increase in deforestation this year as well.

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The Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries who believe Bolsonaro has neglected commitments to protect biodiversity. Protesters gathered outside Brazilian diplomatic missions in European and Latin American cities Friday, and demonstrators also marched in Brazil.

— With files from the Associated Press

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