By Star Noor
FIRST PUBLISHED IN COCO ECO MAGAZINE, 2015
UPDATED NOVEMBER 14, 2016
By now, it’s not news that Leonardo DiCaprio is passionate about the environment. From being one of the first in Hollywood to embrace a hybrid vehicle to his ever-growing portfolio of ecological initiatives, this fearless trail-blazer continues to make his mark on the both the world of entertainment and the world as a whole. From raising the siren about the planet’s excessive carbon usage, to protecting elephants and fighting for our oceans, he is relentless in bringing pertinent knowledge to awaken the general public alongside his organization, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
His recent project is his collaboration with Tree Media, and the short films narrated called ‘Green World Rising.’ This four part series artfully tells the story of the world’s carbon emissions and the dangers we face as a direct result. Leo emphasizes, “97% of the world’s scientists agree: climate change is happening right now — and humans are responsible;” he furthers, “We cannot sit idly by and watch the fossil fuel industry make billions at our collective expense. We must put a price on carbon — now.” Leonardo’s commitment to the planet brought him to the United Nation’s Climate Change Summit this September, where he was globally recognized for his participation. Not only walking the streets of NYC in the Climate March, he was designated as a UN Messenger of Peace (special focus on climate change) by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki moon, and brought down the house with a rousing and genuine speech, encouraging government and industry to take decisive widespread action to correct accelerating climate change.
“I stand before you not as an expert but as a concerned citizen, one of the 400,000 people who marched in the streets of New York on Sunday, and the billions of others around the world who want to solve our climate crisis,” he said to the U.N., “As an actor I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems. I believe humankind has looked at climate change in that same way: as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet, as if pretending that climate change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away. But I think we know better than that… I beg you to face it with courage. And honesty.”
Since then, Leonardo has had many other eco-conscious ventures, and some protests. One of the most recent is a massive 104 acres off of the coast of Belize which he purchased 10 years ago for $1.75 million dollars, Blackdore Caye. Waiting to find the right developer to start construction, he is currently building the eco-resort dreams are made of. According to the NY Times, after a decade of patience, DiCaprio has brought Restorative Islands L.L.C. on to do the job, which is expected to be ready for guests in 2018.
Lead design architect Jean-Michel Gathy, known for his work with Aman and One&Only, drew inspiration from Belize’s ancient Mayan ruins, with minimalist designs that subtly nod to Central American pyramids while remaining resolutely modern, and thatched roofs over plenty of natural materials such as wood and marble.
Paul Scialla, a partner at Blackadore Development Group, says the “goal is to create a development true to the history of the area.” Sustainability and environmental integrity will continue to remain top priorities during construction, which will start early next year,” he says.
“From a materials standpoint, our plan is to source as much local materials as possible that support the local economy and minimize emissions.”
There will be 36 residential homes and 36 bungalows to rent spread over the island’s 104 acres.
And even more news as of this week, The History Channel has green lit Leo’s 8 hour docuseries ‘Frontiersmen’, which is producing in conjunction with his Appian Way Productions and Stephen David Entertainment.
“Frontiersmen” will follow stories of iconic pioneers, including Daniel Boone, Lewis and Clark, Tecumseh, Davy Crocket and Andrew Jackson as they set forth across untamed land. The series will span across the first 75 years from the post-revolutionary war colonies through the California Gold Rush, highlighting a formative period in U.S. history that helped shape us from colonists into today’s Americans.
“During these years, America went from the opportunity of land to the land of opportunity and it was a bloody struggle throughout,” said Paul Cabana, History’s EVP and head of programming. “From Crockett to Boone, we’ll tell the bold stories of these adventurous trailblazers who explored the uncharted wilderness and became the icons we know today.”
From the very first of his career, Leo has shown the world what it means to care. History, politics, worthwhile entertainment, sustainability and eco-consciousness – the list goes on and on, when it comes to how Leo helps the world; as if his talent and charms weren’t enough. We love you #LeonardoDiCaprio, you handsome devil you.
Visit the #BlackdoreCaye website and learn more.