Earth Alliance, a newly minted organization backed by actor Leonardo DiCaprio that combats climate change, has pledged $5 million toward preserving the Amazon rain forest, which has been experiencing devastating wildfires this month.
The fundraising launch, called the Amazon Forest Fund, will aim to protect sensitive habitats within the Amazon by donating to five local organizations: 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).
Since the beginning of 2019, Brazil has reported 72,843 fires in the country. This surge in its Amazon forest fires—in 2018, only 40,000 fires were reported—is reportedly due to increases in deforestation, caused by cattle operations and feed crops. According to CNN, many farmers and cattle ranchers use fire to clear land and make it ready for use, which are likely the cause of the fires.
The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest, covering eight countries and supplying 20% of the earth’s oxygen. It is often referred to as “the lungs of the planet” because of how much oxygen it produces.
DiCaprio—who is heavily involved with battling climate change through his eponymous foundation—has been posting about the fire on his Instagram page this past week. “The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution,” he wrote in one caption. “Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the earth’s warming in check.”
Originally Appeared on Vogue