As wildfires rage at an alarming rate in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, celebrities are using their platforms to bring awareness to the deforestation’s impact and to call for action.
In the past week, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Cara Delevingne and Ariana Grande have taken to Instagram to express their frustration with the lack of media coverage and the need for awareness, using the hashtag #PrayForAmazonia.
According to the New York Times, the National Institute for Space Research reported a 77% increase in wildfires from last year in the world’s largest rain forest. Deforestation has become an increasingly pressing concern in the Amazon, and after Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro took office in January, funding to protect the rain forests has been cut.
In an Instagram post on Thursday, DiCaprio said, “Scientists and conservationists attribute the accelerating deforestation to President Jair Bolsonaro, who issued an open invitation to loggers and farmers to clear the land after taking office in January. The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution. Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth’s warming in check.” He also suggested donating to “frontline Amazon groups working to defend the forest,” among other recommendations.
Delevingne also shared her sentiments on Instagram, advocating for more media coverage and urging her followers to increase awareness through the hashtag #PrayForAmazonia.
Grande took to her Instagram Stories, sharing three photos of the rainforest ablaze, saying “If ur not from Brazil, and dont have no clue about what’s happening here, here it goes. The largest rainforest on the world is on fire, for the 16th day. And the media is not giving a f–- for this. #PrayForAmazonia.”
Madonna criticized Bolsonaro’s policies, writing on Instagram, “This is a devastation to Brazil — to the indigenous people who live there and the-plant and animal species that make this the most important bio-diverse Forest!!! President Bolsonaro please change your policies and help not only your country but the entire planet.”