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Leonardo DiCaprio Joins Efforts to Protect Masungi Georeserve

Masungi Georeserve
Renowned Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has lent his voice to the #SaveMasungi campaign, advocating for the preservation of the Masungi Georeserve in the Philippines.

This conservation effort has gained widespread public support, with DiCaprio using his influential platform to spotlight the importance of safeguarding this vital ecosystem.

The Threat to Masungi Georeserve

Situated just outside Manila, Masungi Georeserve is a lush montane rainforest that faced severe deforestation in the late 1990s. Through community-driven efforts, particularly led by the Masungi Georeserve Foundation Inc. (MGFI), significant strides have been made in restoring and protecting this precious landscape.

Recently, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has proposed the cancellation of a 2017 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that grants MGFI management rights over the 2,700-hectare area. This move threatens to undo years of conservation progress, opening the reserve to potential land grabbing, mining, logging, and other illegal activities.

In an Instagram post, DiCaprio highlighted Masungi’s environmental significance and the urgent need to uphold its protection. He underscored the potential repercussions of canceling the MOA, emphasizing that such a decision would undermine a globally recognized conservation effort.

DiCaprio also shared a link to an online petition directed at President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., urging him to intervene and maintain the legal protections for Masungi Georeserve. This petition, submitted on World Environment Day, seeks to rally support and pressure authorities to prioritize conservation over commercial interests.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Environmental Advocacy

The DENR’s classification of Masungi Georeserve as a “resort”, based on its operations like entrance fees and accommodations, has been disputed by MGFI. This categorization forms part of the grounds for the potential revocation of the MOA, which MGFI contends is unjustified and threatens the reserve’s ecological integrity.

Moreover, MGFI has levied a billing of over P1 billion against the government, citing the DENR’s alleged failure to remove illegal occupants as stipulated in their agreement. The legality of this billing remains contested, further complicating the ongoing dispute.

DiCaprio’s involvement in environmental advocacy spans more than two decades, marked by the establishment of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 1998. Additionally, through this foundation, he has funded numerous global conservation projects focused on wildlife preservation, ocean conservation, and combating climate change.

Global Call to Protect Masungi

Appointed as a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 2014, DiCaprio has used his celebrity status to amplify calls for urgent climate action on the global stage. His support for Masungi Georeserve aligns with his longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability and biodiversity protection.

Furthermore, DiCaprio encourages supporters worldwide to stand in solidarity with local conservation efforts and call upon President Marcos to uphold the protection of Masungi Georeserve. Recognizing the reserve’s role as a beacon of sustainability and eco-tourism, he emphasizes its potential to showcase the Philippines as a leader in environmental stewardship and climate resilience.

As debates over Masungi Georeserve’s future unfold, DiCaprio’s advocacy underscores the critical need for collective action to preserve natural habitats and mitigate the impacts of human activities on global biodiversity. In addition, his involvement serves as a poignant reminder of the interconnectedness between environmental conservation and sustainable development goals worldwide.


Read Also: Masungi Georeserve Rangers Bagged An International Award


Written by Marjo Piedad

Traveler | Foodie | CONTENT EDITOR
📍Cebu, Philippines
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