Warfare, illegal logging, poaching and now oil are threatening one of Africa’s oldest parks.
British oil company SOCO International Plc together with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo are planning a joint operation within the borders of Virunga National Park, a World Heritage Site that hosts some 480 mountain gorillas – more than half the remaining total population. SOCO says it plans to operate only within a small geographical area of ‘lowland savanna around Lake Edward and the lake itself’, and that it ‘will never seek’ to enter gorilla habitat. That’s not good enough for UNESCO – oil prospecting and production are ‘not compatible’ with world heritage statutes. Read more