Will Soco oil company vacate the Virunga National Park ?

 

Located in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Virunga National Park,  Africa’s oldest natural reserve was established in 1925 and spans over 800,000 hectares. It is found in North Kivu in DRC, sharing borders with Uganda and Rwanda. The area is featured on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. Though vulnerable due to the civil wars besetting the region, the reserve remains a favorite haven for certain protected species such as the mountain gorilla species. It is one of the few areas in the world that still have rainforests.

 

For close to five years, the area has been a major attraction for various companies drawn to its abundant natural resources.  Such has been the case for example of the British oil company, Soco, which has been conducting preliminary oil exploration activities on the site since 2010.

 

International organizations such as Global Witness have been speaking out strongly through awareness messages against the company’s continued operations in the Virunga National Park. However, the Congolese government has maintained silence on the issue, while Soco remains unresponsive despite the threat of extinction facing the reserve.

 

In this regard, the local community as well as the international community led by UNESCO are actively campaigning to deter Soco from pursuing operations in the reserve.

Related article:

RDC : le pétrolier Soco appelé à se retirer pour de bon du parc des Virunga 

 

 

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