Above Photo: U.S. Department of State [Public domain]
It’s not every day the President of Brazil accuses you of being responsible for the Amazon fires but hey, that’s exactly what happened to actor and passionate environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio this week.
The Hollywood star was singled out by President Jair Bolsonaro for donating huge sums of money to non-governmental organisations that Bolsonaro believes are responsible for burning the Amazon – though there’s no evidence to support his claims.
Our boy Leo isn’t having a bar of it of course.
He’s responded to the claims in a statement on Instagram saying he stands by the people of Brazil working “to save their natural and cultural heritage.”
“They are an amazing, moving and humbling example of the commitment and passion needed to save the environment,” he writes. “The future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them.”
It sounds like Bolsonaro’s comments may’ve also related to recent reports that four members of the Alter de Chāo fire brigade have been accused of creating fires on purpose to take photos of the burning rain forests and solicit donations.
But in his social media post, Leo explains: “While worthy of support, we did not fund the organisations targeted. I remain committed to supporting the Brazilian indigenous communities, local governments, scientists, educators and general public who are working tirelessly to secure the Amazon for the future of all Brazilians.”
Earlier this year, Earth Alliance, an organisation co-founded by Leonardo DiCaprio pledged $7 million to help save the Amazon.