Leonardo DiCaprio kicks off IFAW’s Animal Action Week

Monday, October 5, 2009
(London – October 5, 2009) – Actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio and IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare – www.ifaw.org) have announced the start of Animal Action Week, one of the world’s largest environmental education programmes.

This year’s Animal Action theme, ‘Under One Sky’, highlights the importance of protecting biodiversity, habitat and ecosystems, as well as the bonds between animals and people.  

IFAW encourages teachers and children across the globe to engage with nature during Animal Action Week, which takes place annually during early October. The week (Oct 4-10) marks the launch of an international educational programme with a different animal welfare and conservation theme each year.

DiCaprio, an IFAW Honorary Board Member, said: “It’s our responsibility not just to protect our planet, but also its animals. Animals are an integral part of human existence and we must always remember that. Unfortunately, they face more threats than ever before. These are threats that, if we all work together, we can begin to alleviate.

He added: “Animals have fascinated and inspired us since the earliest years of human civilisation. They are an integral part of the web of life. Animals, like people, need a home that provides food, water, shelter and space. It's our responsibility to protect animals and our planet’s vital ecosystems if we want to leave a better world for future generations.”

IFAW offers schools across the UK and other countries a free education pack and 15-minute film, Under One Sky, Why Animals Matter, which is narrated by the star. Please visit IFAW.org/education for more details, or call 020 7587 6700 to order hard copies of the packs.

The programme also aims to raise awareness among young people and their families about the impact of their everyday activities on animals and habitat, both far away and in their own backyards. 

Families nationwide are being asked to visit www.ifaw.org/animalaction to sign a global pledge to be more aware and take care of the animals they interact with, and to make lifestyle choices that better protect our shared environment.  

For more than 16 years, IFAW’s Animal Action programme has taught children worldwide about the value of animal welfare and conservation. It reached seven million young people in 18 countries last year.

Fred O’Regan, President of IFAW, said: “We are proud to join forces with Leonardo in our global mission to safeguard animals and the environment. His steadfast commitment is vital in our efforts to educate the environmental leaders of tomorrow and empower them to act now to protect animals and habitats around the world.”

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