Oil and Virunga National Park

It’s not very often that we hear good news about the mountain gorillas, but recently the Congo government blocked a UK company’s (Soco) bid to drill for oil in Virunga National Park, reports WWF.  Rejecting the company’s analysis, the Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism declared that his department will do their own environmental analysis.

Mountain gorilla 2Oil exploration activities are banned in national parks under Congolese law. Yet company maps indicate that Soco was planning to drill for oil throughout the park. The Minister quoted rule of law and international commitments in his letter that blocked the company’s activities.

Virunga National Park contains the largest number of species of any protected area in Africa. It’s also Africa’s oldest national park.

The Environment Minister did the right thing, but now we must continue to seek a firm declaration guaranteeing there will be no exploration in this iconic and fragile park now or in the future, states WWF.

WWF has a letter writing campaign in which you can send a letter to the CEO’s of Dominion Petroleum and SOCO International, urging them to give up on their plans to drill for oil in Virunga National Park. The campaign is on WWF’s website.

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Alison Wheatley

Alison Wheatley

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