Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation donates $1 million to Seychelles Marine Sanctuary
Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio is a well-known activist for marine conservation, and his charitable foundation has recently donated $1 million for a marine sanctuary in the Seychelles. The donation from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) will go towards the protection of 154 square miles of the island nation's surrounding seas and marine creatures.
He might be best known for his role in the Hollywood film Titanic and his recent Oscar award, but Hollywood heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio is also a keen environmental activist. His passion for the ocean and led him to recently donate $1 million to the Seychelles.
The actor set up a charitable organisation called the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) was set up to protect wild places on earth, and the donation to the Seychelles will go towards helping to protect 154,000 square miles of ocean water surrounding the island nation.
Foreign investor groups have agreed to some of the Seychelles $21.4 million debt, in exchange for efforts that will protect the ocean and its diverse marine species.
The donation from LDF was brokered by the Nature Conservancy, and the money will go towards the agreement made with the country’s lenders. The Seychelles government will pay the money that would have been spent repaying high interest loans, to a new locally run agency, the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust. The money will be used to protect of the ocean from one per cent to more than 30 per cent.
The efforts will create the second-largest marine protected area in the West Indian Ocean, and will in turn protect the economy and people of Seychelles.
DiCaprio praised the first-ever debt-for-nature swap on the LDF website, saying:
“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.”
Home to just 90,000 residents, the Seychelles heavily relies on its surrounding seas for tuna fishing and water sports activities for tourists, such as scuba diving, snorkelling, sailing and surfing.
The archipelago nation in the Indian Ocean is made up of 115 idyllic islands, including the three main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, and smaller private granite isles such as Cousine Island, which is home to just five luxury villas, emerald woodlands, and giant Aldabra giant tortoises.
Holidaymakers can sunbathe on white, powder-soft sandy beaches with swaying palm trees and huge granite boulders, before taking a dip in the warm, turquoise crystal clear sea. The waters are home to a plethora of vibrant marine creatures and colourful coral reefs, and divers and snorkelers can catch sightings of sea turtles, parrot fish, octopus, barracuda, whale sharks, and dolphins.
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