Scientists studying the Ebo rain forest in Cameroon have named a newly identified tree in honor of actor, environmental hardliner, and superyacht enthusiast Leonardo DiCaprio.
The tree, a member of the ylang ylang plant family, is a tropical evergreen with yellow flowers growing from its lower trunk and will now be known by the scientific name Uvariopsis dicaprio.
The scientists chose to honor DiCaprio for his efforts to stop the Cameroonian government from allowing the bio-diverse, but isolated Ebo rain forest to be opened for clearcut logging.
“We think he was crucial in helping to stop the logging of the Ebo forest,” Martin Cheek, a botanist for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, told the BBC on Thursday.
The Ebo forest is one of the few mostly untouched rain forests in the world and is home to so many plants and animals that scientists still have not identified them all.
Cheek went on to note that scientists have identified dozens of new plant and animal species over the last decade and may are endangered or already extinct.
“There are still thousands of plant species and maybe millions of fungal species out there that we don’t know about,” Cheek added. “This natural habitat that they’re growing in — especially forests, but other habitats, too — is increasingly and more rapidly being destroyed by us humans without knowing what’s there.”
Cameroon shocked the scientific community in 2020 when it announced that it was giving permits to logging companies to begin culling the forest, but the 47-year-old DiCaprio quickly joined the worldwide effort to raise awareness of the plan and helped convince Cameroon to cancel the logging plans.
Still, Cheek warns that the war may not be won. Cameroon could issue logging permits any time it wants as the endangered rain forest is not a protected national park.
Meanwhile, DiCaprio the “environmentalist” recently was seen with his latest girlfriend Camila Morrone taking a casual stroll in St. Barts after plying the ocean on a $150 million superyacht, the 315-foot yacht, Vava II. The couple were on Caribbean island for a day of shopping — the couple were seen with bags of goodies from high-end stores such as Saint Laurent — and sightseeing, according to the Daily Mail.
Leonardo DiCaprio, 47, and girlfriend Camilla Morrone, 24, leave $150 million superyacht https://t.co/k4nkMAjokC
— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) January 6, 2022
DiCapro’s carbon footprint is perhaps one of the biggest among left-wing Hollywood elites. In 2016, for instance, he flew some 8,000 miles on a gas-guzzling private jet to accept an award for environmental activism in New York City.
But not everyone is so enamored by DiCaprio’s activism. Last June, it was reported that the Revenent star has been the target of years of protests by local residents and fishermen in Belize who are upset over his plans to build a pricey vacation resort on the island he bought in the region.
Despite his claims that the new resort is eco-friendly, the local residents say that the resort will negatively impact the ocean life as well as area’s fishing lanes.
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