Leonardo DiCaprio kicks off IFAW's Animal Action Week (October 4-10, 2009)

Sunday, October 4, 2009
Yarmouth Port, MA
Leonardo DiCaprio and  IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare – www.ifaw.org) today announced the start of Animal Action Week, one of the world’s largest environmental education programs. 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 marks the launch of an international educational program with a different animal welfare and conservation theme each year.

“It’s our responsibility not just to protect our planet, but also its animals,” said Mr. DiCaprio, an IFAW Honorary Board Member. “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.

"Animals have fascinated and inspired us since the earliest years of human civilization. They are an integral part of the web of life. Yet today, animals and their vital habitat face more threats than ever before,” said Mr. DiCaprio, an IFAW Honorary Board Member. “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 country a FREE education pack and 15-minute film, Under One Sky, Why Animals Matter, which is narrated by DiCaprio. The curriculum-based materials are available in two versions, one for elementary students (Grades 3-4) and one for middle school students (Grades 5-9). Please visit to IFAW.org/education for more details.

The program 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 program has taught children worldwide about the value of animal welfare and conservation. The group reached seven million young people in 18 countries last year.

“We are proud to join forces with Leonardo in our global mission to safeguard animals and the environment,” said Fred O’Regan, President of IFAW. “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.”

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW works around the globe to protect animals and habitats promoting practical solutions for animals and people. To learn how you can help, please visit www.ifaw.org

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