Congo Kinshasa |
Environment - Nature | Economy - Development
Congo halts oil exploration in Virunga Park
The Kinshasa Environment Ministry issued a statement today declaring the DRC government would suspend any activities related to oil exploration in Virunga until the potential impact of such a project is thoroughly assessed.
"What we hope to see next is a firm declaration guaranteeing there will be no exploration in this pristine park now or in the future," Mr Blom added. "Allowing oil exploration in this iconic park would set an extremely dangerous precedent that even the most precious places on earth are open for oil and gas development."
WWF had been shocked when finding that SOCO and Dominion were to drill for oil in the large parts of the unique park. Government permission had been given despite warnings by the Kinshasa Environment Ministry, rejecting the companies' environmental impact assessment as "premature and superficial."
WWF now calls on the Congolese government to not only suspend the oil drilling, but "guarantee there will be no oil exploration in the park" and asks the two UK companies "to respect the law and abandon the harmful exploration plans" altogether.
Virunga National Park is Africa's first-ever national park, a World Heritage Site, and is renowned for its breathtaking untouched landscapes and extremely high biodiversity - including the world famous mountain gorillas, as well as important populations of elephant, chimpanzee and hippo.
By staff writers
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