Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation Awards $15.6 Million to Wildlife and Habitat Conservation

Leonardo Di Caprio announces its largest ever portfolio of environmental grants, increasing the total direct financial giving to over $59 million since 1998.

$15.6 million in grants have been awarded for wildlife and habitat conservation, to support innovative grass roots efforts aimed to combating climate change and solving complex environmental issues, as well as aiding in the defence of indigenous rights.

Grants were awarded in 5 key program areas – Wildlife & Habitat Protection, Oceans Conservation, Indigenous Rights, Innovative Solutions and Climate Change.

Below is a summary of this round of grants from the Leonardo Di Caprio website:


Wildlife/Habitat Protection Portfolio: $7,631,508

With only 12% of the world’s forests and natural wildlands protected, LDF is enabling cutting-edge, results-driven conservation and restoration projects in the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems. As the demand increases for timber, fossil fuels, minerals and agricultural products (e.g. palm oil, rubber & soy), corporations are intruding deeper into the world’s last wild places.

The foundation’s grant aims to improve the future for vulnerable wildlife on land protecting and restoring natural habitats, ending poaching in critical regions and reintroducing native species back into the wild.

Grantees include:

  • Elephant Crisis Fund
  • Lion Recovery Fund
  • Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary
  • Maasai Wilderness Conservation Fund
  • Turtle Conservancy
  • Naturalia
  • California Mountain Lion Conservation
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Pacific Wolf Coalition
  • Defenders of Wildlife
  • International Fund for Animal Welfare

Oceans Portfolio: $2,525,000

Working to improve ocean health and protect key ocean ecosystems and marine wildlife by supporting innovative projects in underserved areas. Currently, only 2% of the oceans are protected – LDF’s partnerships aim to safeguard endangered ocean habitats and species, constrain overfishing and establish and expand more protected areas.

Grantees include:

  • Oceans 5
  • The Global Partnerships for Sharks Fund

Indigenous Rights Portfolio: $2,100,000 million

Less than one perfect of philanthropic giving goes to indigenous people and issues, yet 80% of the world’s remaining biological diversity is found in indigenous lands and traditional territories.

Grantees include:

  • Utah Dine Bikeyah
  • United Tribes of Bristol Bay
  • Wishtoyo Foundation
  • Amazon Watch

Innovative Solutions Portfolio: $2,085,000

LDF’s Innovative Solutions portfolio is designed to support innovation at the grassroots level that can be replicated and amplified to bring about new pathways for change.

Grantees include:

  • Digital Democracy
  • Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
  • Mongabay
  • Waterkeeper Alliance
  • Water Defense
  • Bioneers
  • Biomimicry Institute
  • Earth Echo International
  • People’s Grocery

Climate Change Portfolio: $1,300,000

The outcome of COP21 signals that there is an unprecedented opportunity to invest in climate solutions that will further increase the urgency of the issue and immediately make an impact. Investing in a diverse combination of powerful tools can help to increase our efforts to lower greenhouse emissions and expedite the transition to a clean, green economy. These tools include innovative use of the legal systems, media and technology.

Grantees include:

  • Our Children’s Trust
  • Desmog Blog
  • Empowered By Light
  • TreePeople
  • Native Renewables


Credit: Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation


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