Leonardo DiCaprio and a group of environmental foundations have announced that they will put $43 million towards a mass conservation project to re-wild the Galapagos Islands.
Around the world, over 1 million species have been pushed to extinction...
97% of the Galapagos is protected as a National Park, however, it has still been heavily impacted by invasive species (goats, rats, and dogs), tourism (150,000 people per year), illegal fishing, and ocean pollution.
It is possible to restore the ecosystem and bring it back to a thriving state with ample investment, awareness, and manpower.
How will they re-wild the Galapagos Islands?
DiCaprio is a founding board member of the new global environmental organisation Re:Wild. A group on a mission to protect and restore the Earth's biodiversity by amplifying and scaling local solutions led by Indigenous peoples, local communities, organisations, and government agencies. Re:Wild, DiCaprio and partners are a part of the 43 million dollar initiative to restore and re-wild the Galapagos, building on decades of local conservation efforts.
What's involved in the 'Re-wilding' Plan?
- To start, conservationists will focus on recovering Florena Island, the home of 54 threatened species. They plan on re-introducing 13 native species that became extinct on the island, removing threats, and strengthening conservation programs.
- They will fund a captive breeding initiative for the Pink Iguana whose numbers are as low as 300 on Isabela Island, home to an active volcano.
- Protect and conserve marine life from the effects of ecotourism
- And use DiCaprio's social platform to spread awareness on the threats facing the Galapagos and what individuals can do to help.
Over the next ten years the group aims to:
- Restore 25 islands and protect 30% of each country's waters
- Boost the population of more than 250 globally threatened species
- Assist in the development of more resilient and sustainable local economies
- Encourage the role of regional restoration ecologists and protected area workers
A powerful and inspiring environmentalist...
Leonardo DiCaprio has been a long-term environmentalist. He has previously addressed the United Nations in regards to climate change and created the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to help projects dedicated to 'securing a sustainable future for our planet and its inhabitants'.
We love seeing organisations and individuals use their power as a force for good. As DiCaprio says, "The environmental heroes that the planet needs are already here. Now we all must rise to the challenge and join them". Keep spreading the word, we've got this!