Saturday, June 30, 2018

No Protection for Nature

The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has decided to open up parts of two protected national parks, home to endangered species such as mountain gorillas, to oil drilling. The proposals allow oil exploration in Virunga and Salonga National Parks. The cabinet said it had approved the establishment of commissions charged with preparing plans to declassify sections of the parks, including 1,720 sq km (664 sq miles), or 21.5 per cent, of eastern Congo’s Virunga.
Virunga sits on the forest-cloaked volcanoes of central Africa and is home to over half the global population of mountain gorillas. British company Soco International performed seismic testing at the site – which is Africa’s oldest national park – but let its licence lapse in 2015.
Salonga covers 33,350 sq km (12,877 sq miles) of the Congo Basin, the world’s second-largest rainforest, and contains bonobos, forest elephants, dwarf chimpanzees and Congo peacocks.

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