November 17, 2010
Leonardo L. Co, a botanist, working at the time with the Energy Development Corp. (EDC), was reportedly collecting seeds from an endangered tree when he, as well as an engineer and forest guard, were caught in the crossfire and all three killed.
Prior to his death, Co worked with traditional healers in the Philippines to catalog the medicinal plants employed, including use and dosage. He was also involved in discovering a new species of Rafflesia, which was named after him: Rafflesia Leonardi.
In addition, Co was the president of the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society and a previous employee of Conservation International—Philippines.
He authored the books: Common Medicinal Plants of the Cordillera Region: A Trainor’s Manual for Community-Based Health Programs, and the Forest Trees of Palanan, Philippines: A study in population ecology.
The incident is currently under investigation.
Photo: Fruit-eating dragon discovered in the Philippines
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