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Jeff Bezos and Leonardo DiCaprio Invest $200 Million to Save the Amazon; Here’s How You Can Do Your Bit

"We are inspired by Brazil’s ambitious goals for protecting the Amazon, one of the most important places for wildlife on the planet," DiCaprio said.
Cover Image Source: (L) Getty Images | Pascal Le Segretain | (R) Getty Images | Kevin Winter
Cover Image Source: (L) Getty Images | Pascal Le Segretain | (R) Getty Images | Kevin Winter

Jeff Bezos and Leonardo DiCaprio are coming together to save the Amazon. The Protecting Our Planet (POP) Challenge announced on Friday (June 30, 2023) that they plan to invest $200 million in efforts to protect Brazil's protected area and Indigenous territories with the help of the Brazilian government. The coalition has planned to work with the country's Minister of Environment, Miniter of Indigenous Peoples and Amazon states in association with Leonardo DiCaprio's Re: Wild and Jeff Bezos's Bezos Earth Fund.

"We are inspired by Brazil’s ambitious goals for protecting the Amazon, one of the most important places for wildlife on the planet, and are thrilled to be able to support these efforts through the Protecting Our Planet Challenge," said Leonardo DiCaprio, 48.


Why Is Protecting Amazon So Important?

The Amazon consists of the world's largest tropical rainforest which covers about 40% of South America. Amazon is the only place where over 100 new species of animals and birds are discovered each year. It is also home to over 400 tribes with each boasting a distinct culture of their own. It is also a critical climate regulator with the place storing more than 50 billion metric tons of carbon which is more than a third of all the carbon stored in tropical forests worldwide and absorbs more than 2 billion tons of CO2 each year, per Amazon

Deforestation Still Remains the Leading Threat to the Amazon


Pexels | Tom Fisk
Pexels | Tom Fisk

A WWF report pointed out that a whopping 18% of the forests have been lost and an additional 17% have started to degrade. Without the forest, the region will lose its rich biodiversity and release massive amounts of carbon which will then cause soil erosion and the place will ultimately face hydrological devastation. The forest is constantly being degraded, kilometer by kilometer.  Reports by Monitoring the Amazon Project's (MAAP) satellite analysis revealed that the place saw record-breaking deforestation. The top reason was stated to be cattle ranching and agriculture. A devastating 1.98 million hectares (4.89 million acres) of forest was cut down in 2022 which is up by 21%, compared to the year before.

"The 2022 deforestation data is a stark reminder that we are in a race against time for the Amazon. With deforestation rates the highest they have been since 2004, the ecological integrity of the Amazon is in jeopardy," said Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director of Amazon Watch in the report by MAAP. 

Things You Can Do Today to Save the Amazon


1. You can donate to help protect one acre of land of the rainforest: The Rainforest Action Network and other communities help spread awareness on how to combat destructive industrial actions in the rainforest. You can donate here.

2. You can help buy land in the area to protect it: The Rainforest Trusts buys sections of land in the rainforest and then with the help of conservationists, preserves these places and their communities. You can donate here.

3. Donate To Amazon Watch: This NGO works with indigenous partners to try and encourage their sustainable way of living and defend their rights against the industrial corporations who threaten the natural way. You can donate to save Amazon here.

4. Decrease The Demand For Beef: We know by now how eating less meat can help save the forest. As you might know that Brazil is the largest exporter of beef. CNN reported that major sections of land were being cleared for cattle.

5. Adopt a Sloth: You can save them by adopting them symbolically. Here's a link where you can know more about how to protect their habitat.