NEW YORK, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Leonardo DiCaprio has been named a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations.
The 39-year-old actor received the title in recognition of his commitment to environmental causes. DiCaprio established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 1998, and has worked with the organization to protect wildlife, conserve oceans and forests and bring attention to climate change. The actor donated $3 million to marine conservation in February, and later pledged an additional $7 million.
"Mr. DiCaprio is a credible voice in the environmental movement, and has a considerable platform to amplify its message," U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon lauded. "I am pleased he has chosen to add his voice to U.N. efforts to raise awareness of the urgency and benefits of acting now to combat climate change."
"It's an honor to accept the role of U.N. Messenger of Peace on Climate Change and to support the Secretary General in his effort to address one of the most important issues we face as a global community," the actor said. "I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history -- it is a moment for action. How we respond to the climate crisis in the coming years will likely determine the fate of humanity and our planet."
DiCaprio will speak on climate change at the U.N. Climate Summit on September 23. The actor will also be honored for his environmental activism two days earlier at the Clinton Global Initiative gala.