Leo DiCaprio Gives $1 Million Grant to Seychelles for Marine Conservation
Leonardo DiCaprio has not lost steam since his Oscar acceptance speech, in which he discussed the importance of addressing climate change. The film star joined a number of other organizations in a “debt-for-nature” deal with the nation of Seychelles. A low interest loan of $21.4 million was offered to the country by The Nature Conservatory and an additional $5 million in grants from various foundations, including Leo’s, to restructure the national debt and strengthen its conservation commitments.
An archipelago off the eastern coast of Africa, The Seychelles is actually 99 percent ocean. The nautical rights for a nation extend 200 miles beyond the shoreline and for a country of 115 scattered islands The Seychelles have a lot of ocean to call their own. They currently protect less than 1 percent of their waters, yet that number will increase to more than 30 percent with the new deal, making the area the second most protected marine area in the west Indian Ocean.
Leo has said about the deal:
“I’m proud my Foundation is partnering with Seychelles and The Nature Conservancy on this innovative project that will protect this vital ocean habitat and fragile marine life. We champion projects like this one across the globe that use cutting edge methods in conservation and environmental protection. This deal will enhance food security for the local people of Seychelles, help mitigate the effects of climate change on their low lying island home, and protect the surrounding rich ocean ecosystems for future generations.”
Photo credit: Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation