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Leonardo DiCaprio’s luxury eco-resort project on Belize island stalled for years after protests

After buying Belizean isle Blackadore Caye in 2005 for $1.75M, Leonardo DiCaprio had planned to ‘change the world’ by building a luxury eco-resort scheduled to open in 2018.

However, protests and backlash from Belize locals and fishermen have effectively stalled the 46-year-old Oscar winner’s ambitious plans for the 104-acre, 2.2 mile-long sandbar.

Protesters took offense to Leonardo’s idea of 116 floating villas built on a platform supported by pylons with artificial reefs, which would ‘destroy the fish breeding grounds.’  

Environmentalist: After buying Belizean isle Blackadore Caye in 2005 for $1.75M, Leonardo DiCaprio had planned to ‘change the world’ by building a luxury eco-resort scheduled to open in 2018 (pictured in 2020)

Groups like Defend Blackadore Caye and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust organized campaigns against the resort with reported $5M-$15M ‘living homes,’ research station, residents club, and an anti-aging center.

‘For DiCaprio to label this plan as environmentally conscious is just a sales pitch,’ tour company operator Rebecca Arceo told The Sun on Tuesday.

‘He’s a complete hypocrite in my opinion. Fly fishing is a huge deal in Belize for the tourism industry. To call his plan green is totally disgusting.’ 

The climate change activist envisioned building the ‘greenest luxury development ever,’ which would restore ‘the biological health of species on the island and in the waters around it.’ 

'Do the right thing': However, protests and backlash from Belize locals and fishermen have effectively stalled the 46-year-old Oscar winner's ambitious plans for the 104-acre, 2.2 mile-long sandbar (pictured in 2018)

‘Do the right thing’: However, protests and backlash from Belize locals and fishermen have effectively stalled the 46-year-old Oscar winner’s ambitious plans for the 104-acre, 2.2 mile-long sandbar (pictured in 2018)

Concept design: Protesters took offense to Leonardo's idea of 116 floating villas built on a platform supported by pylons with artificial reefs, which would 'destroy the fish breeding grounds'

Concept design: Protesters took offense to Leonardo’s idea of 116 floating villas built on a platform supported by pylons with artificial reefs, which would ‘destroy the fish breeding grounds’

Stalled: Groups like Defend Blackadore Caye and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust organized campaigns against the resort with reported $5M-$15M 'living homes,' research station, residents club, and an anti-aging center

Stalled: Groups like Defend Blackadore Caye and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust organized campaigns against the resort with reported $5M-$15M ‘living homes,’ research station, residents club, and an anti-aging center

Leonardo’s development team allegedly promised the Belizean government that his resort would amass $10M in annual revenue and create 400 new jobs. 

The Sun acquired recent aerial shots of Blackadore Caye, located behind the world’s second largest barrier reef, which revealed only sparse trees and wooden shacks.

‘There’s been a lot of public pressure on him,’ an activist told the outlet.

‘People were bristling. They got really bent out of shape by the notion that he was going to “heal” us by building an over-the-top resort for rich people.’ 

Tour company operator Rebecca Arceo told The Sun: 'For DiCaprio to label this plan as environmentally conscious is just a sales pitch. He's a complete hypocrite in my opinion. Fly fishing is a huge deal in Belize for the tourism industry. To call his plan green is totally disgusting'

Tour company operator Rebecca Arceo told The Sun: ‘For DiCaprio to label this plan as environmentally conscious is just a sales pitch. He’s a complete hypocrite in my opinion. Fly fishing is a huge deal in Belize for the tourism industry. To call his plan green is totally disgusting’

'View of the Gaia Welcome Plaza': The climate change activist envisioned building the 'greenest luxury development ever,' which would restore 'the biological health of species on the island and in the waters around it'

‘View of the Gaia Welcome Plaza’: The climate change activist envisioned building the ‘greenest luxury development ever,’ which would restore ‘the biological health of species on the island and in the waters around it’

Abandoned? The Sun acquired recent aerial shots of Blackadore Caye, located behind the world's second largest barrier reef, which revealed only sparse trees and wooden shacks

Abandoned? The Sun acquired recent aerial shots of Blackadore Caye, located behind the world’s second largest barrier reef, which revealed only sparse trees and wooden shacks

Dr. Dionne Chamberlain, representative for Blackadore Caye Development Group, said plans will only move forward if they meet the most ‘rigorous environmental and ecological standards.’

‘All plans for Blackadore Caye remain in preliminary stages. We appreciate all feedback throughout the ongoing planning process and look forward to continuing productive conversations with the local community to advance the right plan,’ Chamberlain said in a statement.

‘No new development on Blackadore Caye has occurred, however rigorous foundational ecological planning and studies have taken place including a three year scientific investigation undertaken to determine the causes of the environmental issues on Blackadore, (including coastal erosion, on-island soil degradation, and the on-going influence of climate change). To counteract the effects of erosion and soil degradation, a long-term restoration plan was developed and implemented using a variety of hybrid restoration techniques.’

She continued: ‘In collaboration with all local stakeholders, the development group made adjustments to the original plans, including removing originally contemplated over-the-water structures, to address concerns that were raised. Revised plans remain in preliminary stages. 

Premieres later this year on Netflix! Audiences can next catch Leonardo as low-level astronomer Dr. Randall Mindy in Adam McKay's asteroid disaster comedy Don't Look Up

Premieres later this year on Netflix! Audiences can next catch Leonardo as low-level astronomer Dr. Randall Mindy in Adam McKay’s asteroid disaster comedy Don’t Look Up

‘The development group continues to gather input from all local stakeholders to ensure interests are aligned, and continues to evaluate the most advanced environmentally sustainable practices. The project will only move forward if the most rigorous environmental and ecological standards are met.’

Audiences can next catch DiCaprio as low-level astronomer Dr. Randall Mindy in Adam McKay’s asteroid disaster comedy Don’t Look Up, which premieres later this year on Netflix.

Don’t Look Up also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Cate Blanchett, Chris Evans, Tyler Perry, and more.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk