NO to Oil Drilling in Virunga National Park
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The park was established in 1925 as Africa's first national park and has been an UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site since 1979. In recent years, poaching and the Congo Civil War have seriously damaged its wildlife population.
In 2015, the World Wildlife Fund raised concerns about plans by UK-based Soco International to carry out exploration for oil in the park. Currently, more than 80% of Virunga National Park has been allocated as oil concessions. Soco International's own environmental impact assessment reports say that oil exploration is likely to cause pollution, irreparably damage habitats and bring poaching to the park. A petition was started back then.
In June 2018 the park closed for the remainder of the year to address security; at least twelve park rangers had been killed in prior months and today the news explained that the park will be open to Oil Drilling. Virunga National Park is unrivalled in its diversity of landscapes and ecosystems.
The government has defended its right to authorise drilling, the cabinet said it had approved the establishment of commissions charged with preparing plans to declassify sections of the parks, including 664 square miles, or 21.5 per cent, of eastern Congo’s Virunga.
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