Famed American actor, environmentalist and philanthropist Leonardo DiCaprio has congratulated the Bangladesh government, local communities and NGOs concerned for establishing a Marine Protected Area around Saint Martin's Island.
DiCaprio said that this move will safeguard the biodiversity in that significant area
In a tweet on Friday at 8:30 pm (Bangladesh time), he wrote, "Congrats to the Government of Bangladesh, local communities and NGOs on a newly established Marine Protected Area around Saint Martin's Island that will protect an incredible community of biodiversity and provide key habitat for Bangladesh's only coral reef."
DiCaprio also shared a photograph crediting Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), showcasing the picturesque view of the mentioned area.
"This newly declared marine protected area spans 672 square miles on Bangladesh's southernmost tip," he said.
DiCaprio, one of the highest-paid actors in the world and the winner of three Golden Globes and an Oscar (for best actor), has been campaigning in the fight against climate change for years.
Additionally, his Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation (LDF) addresses the world's most pressing environmental concerns including the conservation of the ocean and wildlife and global warming by partnering with other international organisations, such as the World Wildlife Fund, Oceana, and the Wild Foundation.
Moreover, the latest documentary film he produced called "The Loneliest Whale" (2021) raises awareness about the dangers faced by marine life such as overfishing, global warming, and noise pollution.
Unsurprisingly, Dicaprio dedicates most of his social media posts to climate-related news. However, reportedly this is the first time Bangladesh appeared in one of his tweets.
The government recently declared about 1,743 square kilometres of the Bay of Bengal adjacent to Saint Martin's Island as "Saint Martin Marine Protected Area" to conserve marine biodiversity.
In addition to the previously declared 590 hectares of ecologically critical area, the new 70 metres deep marine protected area has been declared to prevent uncontrolled movement of water vessels, overfishing, dumping of waste and chemicals, and destruction of coral reefs and biodiversity.
The newly declared protected area will help conserve the endangered pink dolphins, sharks, ray fish, sea turtles, seabirds, corals, marine grasses and marine biodiversity and their habitats.
It will also help improve the livelihoods of local people through sustainable extraction of marine resources, enrich the national blue economy, and achieve the international obligations and targets related to the special economic zone of Bangladesh.
The declaration of this marine protected area will facilitate the proper enforcement of the law and proper management of marine resources with the help of law enforcement agencies deployed in and around the island.
At the same time, the possibility of increasing the abundance of marine fish resources and aquatic life outside the protected area will be multiplied.