A monumental coalition conservation effort, including Leonardo Dicaprio’s Re:wild, raises $5 billion to protect threatened species and wild lands.
Announcing Re:wild’s participation in a record-setting pledge for the planet, co-founder Leonardo DiCaprio took to Instagram to share the news.
“I am thrilled today to share a record pledge of $5 billion for nature and climate over the next ten years, a joint commitment from @rewild alongside eight other philanthropic organizations – Arcadia (a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin), Bezos Earth Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Nia Tero, Rainforest Trust, Wyss Foundation, and the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation.”
The fund includes the $1 billion announcement made by Jeff Bezos earlier this week. The Amazon founder pledged the funds—10 percent of his $10 billion for the climate—to conservation efforts.
The funders have launched the Protecting Our Planet Challenge to support projects around the planet. The effort, commonly referred to as 30×30—conserving 30 percent of the planet’s wildlands and waters by 2030—is one of the largest conservation efforts to date.
“We can solve the crisis facing nature,” philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss said in a statement announcing the pledge. “But it’s going to take the wealthiest nations and the wealthiest individuals committing to reinvest our enormous bounties here on Earth, safeguarding nature and protecting our lands, waters, and wildlife.”
In 2018, the Wyss Campaign pledged $1 billion over ten years for 30×30 goals. The Protecting Our Planet Challenge is seeking additional private and governmental financial support behind 30×30.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation relaunched as Re:wild earlier this year in a collaboration between DiCaprio and the Global Wildlife Conservation in an effort to bring attention to the need for conservation efforts. It connects with partners in more than 50 countries to protect threatened and endangered species, more than 45 million acres of land and water.
“Nature-based solutions, especially the protection and restoration of forests, wetlands, mangroves, and other ecosystems, are, by far, the most accessible and cost-effective solutions to the ongoing climate, biodiversity, and human health crises,” said Wes Sechrest, Re:wild CEO and chief scientist. “To protect and restore the most irreplaceable areas on land and sea, we urgently need to bring together resources from governments, philanthropy, and companies to support coalitions of Indigenous and local communities, civil society, and government agencies. This new alliance will help accomplish this by catalyzing on-the-ground conservation impact.”
According to Re:wild, 75 percent of the land and “most” of the ocean have been transformed by human impact. The group says a million species are threatened by extinction this century; and the COVID-19 pandemic, which is linked to wildlife trade, has killed more than 4.5 million people.
“Achieving our ambitious goals will require advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities as guardians of our planet’s biodiversity,” DiCaprio wrote on Instagram. “The new ‘Protecting the Planet Challenge’ welcomes governments, corporations, organizations and individuals to join us in committing to protect and conserve the most irreplaceable places on our planet. Currently, the 72 countries in the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People are committed to protect and conserve at least 30% of the world’s lands, inland waters, and oceans by 2030.”