Leonardo DiCaprio, the European Union, and Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) have announced two projects aimed at protecting biodiversity. An investment of more than $41.5 million USD will be put into the two initiatives.

The first initiative will be Rapid Response for Ecosystems, Species, and Communities Undergoing Emergencies (Rapid RESCUE). This project will be aimed at providing a rapid response to emerging biodiversity threats such as those caused by the ongoing global pandemic.

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The second initiative will be aimed at safeguarding Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The project will reintroduce eastern lowland gorillas and other threatened species back into the park as well as work to restore habitat.

“This year has shown that we are at a critical turning point for our planet and that we must choose to protect and restore wildlife and ecosystems, for their sake and for our own health,” DiCaprio stated in a press release. “The current pandemic, devastating fires in the Amazon, Australia, the Congo, the larger and more frequent hurricanes in the Caribbean, and other environmental crises have shown that we must reset our relationship with nature. I am honored to work with Commissioner Urpilainen, the EU, and GWC to establish this Fund to implement urgent conservation actions around the world.”

DiCaprio is the co-founder of Earth Alliance and has provided more than $100 million in grants to a variety of projects through his philanthropic efforts.

GWC/YouTube

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The GWC will aid in the projects at Virunga National Park by helping to train park rangers, sharing experience, and forming a technical expert committee.

“Our planet’s biodiversity underpins healthy ecosystems, which are essential to a healthy planet for people and wildlife,” said Wes Sechrest, Chief Scientist and CEO, Global Wildlife Conservation. “Only by investing in nature-based solutions, as GWC and the European Commission are doing, can we tackle the twin crises of wildlife extinction and climate change, and prevent future pandemics. The EU is helping lead the way in these global efforts.”

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Sign this petition to protect mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park.

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