Following the news that the Amazon rainforest is currently enduring some of the worst fires we’ve ever seen, Leo DiCaprio and his new joint not-for-profit foundation, Earth Alliance, has committed around $7.46million (AUD) to the aid and preservation of what is regarded as the Earth’s lungs.

With reports that Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) recorded a huge 72,000 fires in the rainforest between January and August (up from around 40k in previous dry seasons), and that some of those have been deliberately lit by farmers looking to clear land for future crops.

Earth Alliance has pledged to give a generous amount of money to help support local organisations fighting the blazes, protect indigenous lands, and providing relief and assistance to local communities affected by the upswing in deforestation.

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#Regram #RG @rainforestalliance: The lungs of the Earth are in flames. ???? The Brazilian Amazon—home to 1 million Indigenous people and 3 million species—has been burning for more than two weeks straight. There have been 74,000 fires in the Brazilian Amazon since the beginning of this year—a staggering 84% increase over the same period last year (National Institute for Space Research, Brazil). Scientists and conservationists attribute the accelerating deforestation to President Jair Bolsonaro, who issued an open invitation to loggers and farmers to clear the land after taking office in January.⁣ ⁣ The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution. Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth’s warming in check. ⁣ ⁣ The Amazon needs more than our prayers. So what can YOU do?⁣ ⁣ ✔ As an emergency response, donate to frontline Amazon groups working to defend the forest. ⁣ ✔ Consider becoming a regular supporter of the Rainforest Alliance’s community forestry initiatives across the world’s most vulnerable tropical forests, including the Amazon; this approach is by far the most effective defense against deforestation and natural forest fires, but it requires deep, long-term collaboration between the communities and the public and private sectors. ✔ Stay on top of this story and keep sharing posts, tagging news agencies and influencers. ⁣ ✔ Be a conscious consumer, taking care to support companies committed to responsible supply chains.⁣ Eliminate or reduce consumption of beef; cattle ranching is one of the primary drivers of Amazon deforestation. ✔ When election time comes, VOTE for leaders who understand the urgency of our climate crisis and are willing to take bold action—including strong governance and forward-thinking policy.⁣ ⁣ #RainforestAlliance #SaveTheAmazon #PrayForAmazonia #AmazonRainforest #ActOnClimate #ForestsResist #ClimateCrisis ????: @mohsinkazmitakespictures / Windy.com

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As it’s been detailed before, the main factor for the huge surge in fires is due to Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, loosening the laws around where companies and farmers can raze forestry to the ground to prepare the soil for new crops.

The INPE has also ruled out natural phenomena as the main catalyst for the devastating fires that blanketed São Paulo with smoke last week, and was spotted from NASA satellites from space.

Earth Alliance has also kicked up an emergency fund for the Amazon fires, where 100% of the donations go to specific initiatives directly working in the Amazon and affected communities and wildlife.

So if you’re feeling a bit helpless about it all from over here in Australia, you’re able to help out with direct action through monetary donations.

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#EarthAlliance, launched in July by @LeonardoDiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Brian Sheth, has formed an emergency Amazon Forest Fund with a commitment of $5 million dollars to focus critical resources for indigenous communities and other local partners working to protect the life-sustaining biodiversity of the Amazon against the surge of fires currently burning across the region. Join Us. 100 percent of your donation will go to partners who are working on the ground to protect the Amazon. Earth Alliance is committed to helping protect the natural world. We are deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis in the Amazon, which highlights the delicate balance of climate, biodiversity, and the wellbeing of indigenous peoples. To learn more or to donate, please visit ealliance.org/amazonfund (see link in bio). Photos: @chamiltonjames, @danielbeltraphoto 2017

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Earth Alliance was formed in early July between Leo DiCaprio, the wife of the late Steve Jobs and business executive, Laurene Powell Jobs, and investor and philanthropist Brian Sheth, and will utilise the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the Global Wildlife Conservation and the Emerson Collective to ” work globally to protect ecosystems and wildlife, ensure climate justice, support renewable energy, and secure indigenous rights to the benefit of all life on Earth.”

Image: AAP / Joedson Alves