Before Avatar, James Cameron's efforts to save the world were limited to buying organic and driving a hybrid. But after the movie came out, he started hearing from people around the world who are encountering issues similar to those faced by the Na'vi. This has inspired him to expand his efforts from saving CGI worlds to saving the real world. Cameron recently made a trip to a part of Brazil where the government is planning to build a dam that would devastate indigenous communities who live nearby. Now the HMFIC is trying to stop it.
The dam is a “quintessential example of the type of thing we are showing in ‘Avatar’ — the collision of a technological civilization’s vision for progress at the expense of the natural world and the cultures of the indigenous people that live there,” he said.
Along with satisfying Cameron's desire to help, his trip gave him a chance to come up with ideas for the Avatar sequel. More important, it gave him a chance to paint his face.