A new environmental foundation backed by Leonardo DiCaprio is pledging US$5 million (NZ$7.8m) in aid to the Amazon, which has been swept by wildfires .

Earth Alliance was created last month by DiCaprio and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth.

On Sunday, it launched the Amazon Forest Fund in an announcement on their website.

The alliance is also seeking donations to help repair the Brazilian rainforest, called the "lungs of the planet."


Brazilian federal experts reported a record number of wildfires across the country this year, up 84% over the same period in 2018.

The funds will be distributed to five local groups working to combat the problem: Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida, Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon, Instituto Kabu, Instituto Raoni, and Instituto Socioambiental.

"The lungs of the Earth are in flames. The Brazilian Amazon — home to 1 million indigenous people and 3 million species — has been burning for more than two weeks straight" he wrote.

Madonna, singer Camila Cabello, Zoe Kravitz, Lil Nas X and Viola Davis were among the other celebrities sharing posts to raise awareness.

"President Bolsonaro please change your policies and help not only your country but the entire planet," Madonna wrote. "No economic development is more important than protecting this land."

"Where does the donation go to help stop the fire in the Amazon," Lil Nas X tweeted.

Actor Zoe Kravitz shared a picture that said, "when Notre Dame was burning, the world's media covered every moment of it and billionaires rushed to restore it. Right now the Amazon is burning, the lungs of our planet."

French President Emmanuel Macron also tweeted about the fires, saying, "Our house is burning. Literally" and called on members of the G7 summit to discuss the emergency when they meet this weekend.


His tweet drew the ire of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who accused the French president of "using the internal issue of Brazil and other Amazonian coiutnries for personal political gain," as well as posting "fake" photographs of the fires.

having lied to Macron and says it now opposes a trade deal with the South American bloc Mercosur because of his environmental back-pedalling.

A statement from the Elysee Palace accused Bolsonaro of failing to respect his "commitments on the climate" and of failing to protect biodiversity and said that Macron "can only note that President Bolsonaro lied to him."