DiCaprio-backed foundation spending $5M to help Brazil's Amazon

DiCaprio-backed foundation spending $5M to help Brazil's Amazon
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An environmental organization backed by actor Leonardo DiCaprio pledged to spend $5 million to help fight the fires surging through Brazil's Amazon rainforest. 

Earth Alliance, an organization launched last month by DiCaprio and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth, formed an emergency Amazon Forest Fund. 

One hundred percent of donations will go toward protecting the Amazon, according to the organization.

“These funds will be distributed directly to local partners and the indigenous communities protecting the Amazon, the incredible diversity of wildlife that lives there, and the health of the planet overall,” Earth Alliance said on its website

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Environmentalists say the surge in fires in the Brazilian rainforest is due to deforestation. 

Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been widely criticized for rolling back environmental protections, a move activists say contributed to the crisis. However, Bolsonaro accused nongovernmental organizations of purposefully starting the fires.  

He reversed course Saturday and said he plans to send the country’s military to fight the raging fires. 

A White House official told The Hill last week the administration is “deeply concerned about the impact of the fires in the Amazon forest on the communities, biodiversity, and natural resources of the region.”

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzState probes of Google, Facebook to test century-old antitrust laws Trump's sinking polls embolden Democrats to play hardball Hundreds of Bahamians told to leave evacuation ship headed to US: report MORE (D-Hawaii) urged fellow lawmakers to cut all funding to Brazil until the Amazon fire crisis is resolved.