Leonardo DiCaprio isn't letting some plane trouble keep him from making a difference at this year's Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg.
“Illegal poaching of tigers for their parts and massive habitat loss due to palm oil, timber and paper production are driving this species to extinction,” said DiCaprio in a statement. “If we don’t take action now, one of the most iconic animals on our planet could be gone in just a few decades. By saving tigers, we can also protect some of our last remaining ancient forests and improve the lives of indigenous communities.”
According to a WWF press release, the number of tigers across Asia dropped from 100,000 at the start of the last century to as few as 3,200.
DiCaprio, who earlier this year announced he was throwing his weight behind the conservation initiative, still fully intends to make it to this year's conference.
“It's been a pleasure to work with Leo. He cares deeply about the fate of tigers and the human communities with whom they share their habitat. He is committing his time, his wealth, and most importantly, his talent to this cause," said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund. “His financial commitment will spark urgent on-the-ground conservation for tigers. His storytelling will inspire people around the world to help."
The international community is hoping to raise some $330 million to help fund conservation programs for the first five years of the 12-year plan. The goal is to reverse the declining rate, and to double the population by 2022, under the Global Tiger Initiative.
To learn more, hit the Save The Tigers Now website here.