Scientists Name Tree in Honor of Leonardo DiCaprio For Helping to Stop Logging of Ebo Forest
22:34 GMT 06.01.2022 (Updated: 20:39 GMT 19.10.2022)
The Uvariopsis dicaprio, named after the actor, is a small evergreen tree with glossy yellow flowers which grow at its trunk. The tree was discovered by British researchers from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, aged 47, is having a tree named after him for his efforts to halt the logging of the Ebo forest in Cameroon.
In July of 2020, the Cameroon government revealed approved logging plans for the forest. Of the 500,000 acres which makes up the Ebo forest, 169,000 acres had been approved for logging.
“We think [DiCaprio] was crucial in helping to stop the logging of the Ebo forest,” Kew botanist Dr. Martin Cheek told the BBC.
DiCaprio has campaigned to protect the Ebo forest located in the Southwest Region of Cameroon, where the tree was discovered. The forest is home to diverse wildlife including endangered gorillas, elephants, and tool-using chimps. It is also the home of the Banen people who live in about 40 communities and have existed in the area for generations.
The government’s excuse for logging the forest was the promotion of wealth and jobs. However, conservationists pointed out that previous logging in Cameroon had not benefited residents economically.
DiCaprio used his social media exposure to fight the logging plans, asking followers to sign a petition.
The actor has been a long-standing advocate of the environment and wildlife. His foundation, which is dedicated to addressing climate change and environmental threats, has been active since 1998.