Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has donated $1 million to Seychelles through his well-established initiative, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off East Africa that is known for its stunning beauty and for being home to several rare wildlife species. The million dollars being donated is part of the first-ever “debt for oceans conservation swap,” which restructures the country’s debt in exchange for their protection of more 400,000 square kilometres of ocean over the next 5 years.
The total debt owed is $21.4 million dollars, which the Nature Conservancy is providing through a low interest loan. DiCaprio and several other foundations have stepped up to provide financial support, an act of generosity that is being largely credited to the actor’s interest in getting this project off the ground.
DiCaprio had this to say in a press release:
We champion projects like this one across the globe that use cutting edge methods in conservation and environmental protection. This deal will enhance food security for the local people of Seychelles, help mitigate the effects of climate change on their low lying island home, and protect the surrounding rich ocean ecosystems for future generations.
Given how much influence they seem to have over us, it’s always wonderful to see celebrity figures step up in support of the causes they are most passionate about. What I particularly appreciate about Leonardo’s efforts is that he supports his words with impactful action.
Since being founded in 1998, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has been involved in a number of change-making projects through funding, awareness, and public disclosure. Most notably, DiCaprio produced and narrated the documentary The 11th Hour, which both looked at the state of the global environment and explored ways to make things better.
The hope for the Seychelles agreement is that it can serve as an example for other, similar initiatives designed to protect the world’s vast and beautiful oceans from fishing and resource extraction.
This marks the second time this year that Leonardo DiCaprio caught our attention, the first being in February when he used his Oscar acceptance speech to speak for the First Nations and Indigenous people of this world.
While many still criticize DiCaprio’s efforts, seeing them as paltry in comparison to his obvious wealth, I personally still appreciate what he has done and continues to do. What are your thoughts? Let us know via the comment sections below.
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