But his latest accolade comes from a group of international scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London and the National Herbarium in Cameroon, who have honored the Hollywood actor and environmental activist by naming a new species of tropical tree after him.
uvariopsis dicaprio comes from the Ebo Forest in Cameroon, according to a press release announcing the tropical tree, and is the first addition to RBG Kew’s 2022 new species list.
The Ibo forests comprise half of the Yapase Key Biodiversity Area, an ancestral area for more than 40 local communities, and home to gorillas, forest elephants, and chimpanzees, according to the Key Biodiversity Areas.
In botany, plants are often named after scientists who have demonstrated their dedication to research.
DiCaprio drew attention to the Yapace Key Biodiversity Area when it was under threat from a logging concession last year.
“The Ebo forest in Cameroon, and all the wonderful animals that live there, are in trouble. This includes jungle elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, and many others. Let’s help #SaveEboForest,” he said in Mail
It was posted on his verified Twitter account in August 2020.
A month later, the Cameroonian government revoked the logging concession.
“We very much appreciated the support Leo gave us in our campaign to protect Igbo last year, so it seemed appropriate to honor him in this way, and to name a species unique to this forest only, after him,” said Martin Cech, a scientist at RBG Kew who was involved in the research, In a statement, he announced the findings, and was published in the scientific journal Peer J on Thursday.
“If the logging concession had gone ahead, we would probably have lost the kind of timber extraction and slash-and-burn farming that usually comes after logging concessions.”
uvariopsis dicaprio is considered an endangered species because it lives in unprotected forest habitats, which are exposed to risks including logging and mining.