Leonardo DiCaprio has slammed leaders in Australia over their environmental record as the bushfire crisis rages.
The actor turned environmentalist is a prominent activist on global warming, and he took to Instagram to demand a ‘radical overhaul’ down under.
DiCaprio reshared a post from Aussie Ark which labelled Australia’s mammal extinction rate as the ‘worst on Earth’.
“Australian conservation efforts need a radical overhaul. Mitigating the intensity of these fires, mostly set by humans and their activities, can be achieved by restoring our native ecosystem engineers, such as bandicoots, bettongs and potoroos,” the post reads.
“Our hearts go out to the victims of the current fires, which we know have been exacerbated by the decline of native biodiversity.”
DiCaprio returned to Insta later the same day to warn against the ‘terrifying weather phenomenon’ as 70 bushfires raged across Queensland and NSW.
The Hollywood star, who is rumoured to be vegan, launched his first environmental organisation in 1998, and he recently described teen activist Greta Thunmberg a ‘leader of our time’.
Addressing his 37.1 million Instagram followers, DiCaprio wrote: “There are few times in human history where voices are amplified at such pivotal moments and in such transformational ways – but Greta Thunberg has become a leader of our time.”
“History will judge us for what we do today to help guarantee that future generations can enjoy the same livable planet that we have so clearly taken for granted.
“I hope that Greta’s message is a wake-up call to world leaders everywhere that the time for inaction is over.”
This critically acclaimed actor is an active climate change campaigner. He recently launched Earth Alliance – a supergroup of scientists, entrepreneurs and conservationists formed to preserve the environment and fight against climate change.
DiCaprio has also produced several documentaries on climate issues and animal welfare such as ‘The 11th hour,’ ‘Sea of Shadows’, ‘Cowspiracy’, ‘Catching the Sun’, ‘Before the Flood’, ‘The Ivory Game’, ‘A Plastic Ocean’ and ‘Virunga’.
DiCaprio’s repost read in full: “Officials have issued a warning of ‘catastrophic fire danger’ as firefighters battle over 60 blazes raging across the Australian state of New South Wales, which has caused the tragic loss of lives and livelihoods.
“There have already been significant harmful impacts to wildlife, with entire ecosystems up in smoke and individual species affected, including around 350 Koalas presumed dead – all before the fires reach their peak.
“Our hearts go out to the victims of the current fires, which we know have been exacerbated by the decline of native biodiversity. Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate on Earth, and the country is amongst the worst 7 countries worldwide for biodiversity loss.
“Australian conservation efforts need a radical overhaul. Mitigating the intensity of these fires, mostly set by humans and their activities, can be achieved by restoring our native ecosystem engineers, such as bandicoots, bettongs and potoroos.
“These species help to maintain healthy forests by continually turning over and breaking down forest leaf litter, thereby drastically reducing fuel load. In their absence, fires are more intense, often reaching the treetops, which can affect populations of species already on the brink, like the Koala.
“Slow growing and ancient Australian East coast temperate forests are of global significance, as these forests have some of the highest carbon storage on the planet.
“Fires of this intensity threaten their very existence but managing wildlife to reduce fire intensity and protect forests is underappreciated for its importance in reducing the release of carbon into the atmosphere.
“Aussie Ark works with Australia’s most threatened and imperiled wildlife, several of which are extinct on the mainland.
“Native wildlife conservation sanctuaries provide refuge, as well as source populations for rewilding and restoring Australia’s native ecosystems.
“Our sincere well wishes go out to all those affected by these devastating fires. If you encounter any injured wildlife, please contact your local animal authorities for rescue and rehabilitation.”
What do you think of Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental efforts? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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