Prince Harry and Leonardo DiCaprio are joining forces for a good cause.
The Oscar-winning actor, 46, along with Forest Whitaker and Djimon Hounsou, have joined the Duke of Sussex, 37, and leading conservationists at Re:wild to call for a stop to oil and gas drilling in the Okavango River Basin in Africa.
According to a press release from Re:wild, Canadian oil and gas company Reconnaissance Energy Africa (ReconAfrica) began drilling the Okavango River Basin in late 2020 despite concern from local communities. The Okavango River Basin travels through Angola, Botswana and Namibia supplying water to nearly 1 million people.
Re:wild is a non-profit that “protects and restores the diversity of life on Earth through innovative collaborations among individuals, communities, Indigenous peoples, governments, scientists, and businesses to drive the most pressing nature-based solutions to our planet’s urgent crises.”
“We believe this would pillage the ecosystem for potential profit,” Harry and Namibian environmental activist, conservationist and poet Reinhold Mangundu wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post earlier this month. “Some things in life are best left undisturbed to carry out their purpose as a natural benefit. This is one of them.”
“There is no way to repair the damage from these kinds of mistakes,” they continued. “Drilling is an outdated gamble that reaps disastrous consequences for many, and incredible riches for a powerful few.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.”
Adding, “The risk of drilling will always outweigh the perceived reward. 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?”
DiCaprio also shared an Instagram video asking fans to add their names to an open letter from Re:wild calling for the end.
“Re:wild stands with the people of the Okavango River Basin, who depend on the health of the watershed for their survival,” the caption said of his post read. “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.”