Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation supports BNF’s conservation efforts

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The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) is supporting our conservation work to protect Sebangau Forest; the largest lowland forest remaining in Borneo and home to the largest protected orangutan population (more than 6,000 individuals) in the world.

Despite this peat-swamp forest being legally protected, it remains threatened by the long-term consequences of illegal and legal logging that occurred prior to Sebangau achieving protected status. Namely, the construction of canals that have drained the peat swamp, causing the peat to dry, degrade and become highly flammable.

 

Forest fires in Sebangau (2015). Photo by Borneo Nature Foundation

 

A LDF grant was awarded to BNF to restore Sebangau’s natural hydrological conditions to prevent forest fires in this critical orangutan habitat. We also aim to safeguard the area’s unique biodiversity (including clouded leopards, sun bears and hornbills), reforest burnt areas and implement sustainable development programmes for the local communities.

 

BNF team blocking man-made drainage canals in the Sebangau Forest to prevent fires. Photo by Duncan Murrell | Borneo Nature Foundation

 

Established by Leonardo DiCaprio in 1998, the LDF supports ‘projects around the world that build climate resiliency, protect vulnerable wildlife, and restore balance to threatened ecosystems and communities’.

Last week Leonardo DiCaprio announced that he will join forces with philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth to create a new non-profit organisation, Earth Alliance. LDF will be folded into this new organisation to help address the urgent threats to life on earth.

BNF is excited to see LDF evolve into Earth Alliance and we hope to enhance this partnership further in the future.

A special thank you to The Orangutan Project for helping to facilitate the support from LDF.

You can find out more about this project and our work with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation here.

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