DiCaprio says Hollywood film won't harm environment.
BANGKOK, Jan. 18 Kyodo Leonardo DiCaprio, star of the Oscar
award-winning movie ''Titanic,'' said Monday the
controversial filming of a 20th Century Fox production on the southern
island of Phi Phi in Thailand will not damage the environment.
''Preservation of the environment has always been of utmost
concern to me, and I would never be part of any project that did
anything to harm nature,'' DiCaprio, who is in Thailand for
the filming of the movie ''The Beach,'' said in a
written statement. He also said he was not involved in the selection of
the film site, but was assured nothing done by 20th Century Fox would
have any detrimental effect on the natural environment at the site.
Local administrative bodies in Krabi Province, where Phi Phi is
located, have filed a lawsuit against Fox and a number of Thai
Agriculture Ministry officials for allegedly violating environmental
and national park laws. The plaintiffs said the natural environment was
damaged when the filming team uprooted indigenous plants from the beach
and planted at least 92 coconut trees there for the filming. Thai
environmentalists, students and academics have been organizing
demonstrations. Bangkok's civil court on Friday, after having twice
rejected plaintiffs' requests that it order a halt to the filming,
accepted their petition demanding the defendants post a 100 million baht (2.7 million dollar) bond against environmental damage.