by Jennifer Mishler
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .

Leonardo DiCaprio has long since become one of Hollywood’s most committed activists for environmental and animal conservation movements. He recently gave his support to the bill banning the shark fin trade in California, and was added to the jury for the Zayed Future Energy Prize because of his environmental work.

Now, the actor/activist will be leading a campaign by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) raising awareness of endangered elephants. IFAW’s Animal Action Education program features a campaign each year during Animal Action Week. This year, October 3-9 will be all about elephants and how you can help protect them ivory poaching, a serious and continuing threat to elephant populations. The organization’s Animal Action page provides several ways young activists can get involved with the campaign including collecting petition signatures, submitting artwork, and educational videos.

DiCaprio says, “In the past century, the number of elephants in the wild has declined by 50 percent. Their disappearance could devastate ecosystems and have a lasting impact on the biodiversity of our planet. I hope this program will inspire and empower you to help protect elephants worldwide.”

According to the Press Association, he added, “Many people around the world still have no idea that elephants are killed for their ivory tusks, and that’s why public education is so important. There were 1.3 million elephants in 1979; rampant poaching and other factors have reduced that by more than half to an estimated 500,000…Authorities in 85 countries have seized almost 400 tonnes of ivory on the black market since the 1989 ivory trade ban.”

IFAW has expressed their enthusiasm at having Leo on-board and hopes that it will get the elephants the attention and help that they need. President Fred O’Regan says, “We are honoured to have Leonardo’s support for our Animal Action campaign to stem the ivory trade. With his help, we hope to create a groundswell for elephant protection that can’t be ignored.”

About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

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  • Bob

    Hey Hollywood pretty boy, enjoy your photo-ops with IFAW, aka the International Fund for Animal Worship, aka the International Fund for Wealth Accumulation.

    Us mere mortals will do the real legwork for the environment and conservation along with legitimate organisations, not money sucking charlatans.

    • don_miguelo

      Try looking here and then making your own judgements, I’m not going to tell anyone how to think.

      http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3892

      I mean, it shows Program Expenses 75.0% and Administrative Expenses 11.7%. Not the highest of the high ratings but not Halliburton level either. It’s back up to a 3 rating Overall from 2009′s rating of 1, so that’s a bit better.

      You are refering to mainly this incident, I believe(from WIKI):
      “Brian Davies received a payout of about 2.5 million Canadian dollars, payable over 7 years, on leaving IFAW in 1997. This was to enable IFAW to continue to use his name and image in their fundraising after he had left. Through the Brian Davies Foundation, IFAW invested money in organizations that carry out animal experiments, such as Bausch & Lomb, US Surgicals, Glaxo, Merck, Abbot, Upjohn, Philip Morris and McDonalds. This, and Davies’ payout, sparked allegations that Davies, and IFAW, saw money as more important than helping animals.

      IFAW has often been criticized for it’s extremely high fundraising to program ratio and resulted in the 2009 drop to one star rating by CharityNavigator.org. While the organization claims that only a small fraction of funds go to fundraising costs the truth is far from that.”

      Do you have any ‘legitimate organizations’ to post instead, that are that large and have a spotless record?

      • Bob

        WWF

      • Bob

        Ducks Unlimited