Oil exploration in Congo national park halted

Marco Lambertini, WWF's director general, said the agreement was a "victory for our planet and for good practices in business".

Oil exploration in Congo national park halted

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Democratic Republic of Congo has halted oil exploration in the Virunga National Park, Africa's oldest UNESCO-protected national park.

The UK-based Soco International said the oil hunt had been halted after the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched a complaint. WWF has now dropped the case. The two organizations made peace in a joint statement which said they looked forward "to working responsibly with the Democratic Republic of Congo and its people to ensure that future development benefits both people and the environment".

According to the BBC, Soco said it would complete its existing program of work in Virunga within 30 days, which includes seismic testing in Lake Edward.

"Our agreement with WWF focuses the need for the DR Congo government and Unesco to also reach an agreement on the best way to combine development and the environment," Soco chairman Rui de Sousa said in a statement.

Marco Lambertini, WWF's director general, said the agreement was a "victory for our planet and for good practices in business".

"As in other African countries, with proper investment, this park can become a leading economic driver for its communities," the conservation group's DR Congo director, Raymond Lumbuenamo, also said in a statement.

Hippos, elephants, lions and rare bird species can also be found in the park, along with endangered mountain gorillas.

Last Mod: 11 Haziran 2014, 16:02
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