AceShowbiz - Leonardo DiCaprio has joined Prince Harry's campaign to end oil and gas drilling in the Okavango River Basin in Africa.
The "Titanic" star, as well as actors Forest Whitaker and Djimon Hounsou, are working with the Duke of Sussex and conservationists to save the river system that provides water to nearly one million people, as well as surrounding wildlife, in Angola, Namibia, and Botswana.
They are opposing an action by bosses at Reconnaissance Energy Africa, a Canadian oil and gas company, who began drilling in the Okavango River Basin in 2020, despite objections and concern from local communities.
Leonardo posted a video to his Instagram last week (ends October 15), calling for fans to sign an open letter calling for an end to drilling for fossil fuels in the region.
He and chiefs at his organization re:wild, who work to protect and restore wildlife around the world, released a statement on Wednesday, October 20 that reads, "Re:wild stands with the people of the Okavango River Basin, who depend on the health of the watershed for their survival."
"ReconAfrica is poised to pollute their farms and destroy a beautiful landscape - one that benefits all life on Earth - forever. Join us by signing the open letter at the link in bio. Together, we can #SaveTheOkavango. For all wildkind."
Also at stake is the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage site recognized for its biodiversity, and two Ramsar wetland areas.
Prince Harry has also shared his thoughts on the issue - last week he co-authored an editorial with Namibian activist, conservationist and poet Reinhold Mangundu in the Washington Post, noting the drilling would cause "permanent destruction" to the area.
"We believe this would pillage the ecosystem for potential profit. Some things in life are best left undisturbed to carry out their purpose as a natural benefit. This is one of them," the two wrote.
The editorial also cited this month's (October 2021) disastrous oil leak in southern California. "There is no way to repair the damage from these kinds of mistakes," the Duke and Mangundu added.
"Drilling is an outdated gamble that reaps disastrous consequences for many, and incredible riches for a powerful few. It represents a continued investment in fossil fuels instead of renewable energies. In a region already facing the abuse of exploitation, poaching and fires, the risk is even higher. Knowing the above, why would you be drilling for oil in such a place?"