Oil and wildlife don’t mix


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

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About Author

Peter has a career in publishing and conservation spanning more than four decades. His most recent project has been the development of Untold Africa, a meeting place for intelligent, engrossing and entertaining dialogue for a global community of like-minded people - people who share a common passion for the wild places of Africa, the creatures that inhabit them, and the breadth of African culture. See more

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