In the eastern virunga national park, one fifth of the park’s area is to be opened up for oil drilling, according to a cabinet resolution. Drilling is also to be allowed in the central salonga park, which lies in the congo basin and is considered one of the world’s roughest rainforest conservation areas, according to the council of ministers’ decision made public on friday evening.
First we will talk about test drilling. It is not yet known whether an international oil company has already secured rights in the affected areas. Activists from the global witness group had already warned of the government’s plan in may.
The virunga national park, known for its large variety of species, is about three times as large as saarland. This is the home of around a quarter of the remaining mountain gorillas (gorilla beringei beringei). The salonga with a flatness of about 36.000 square kilometers – about the size of baden-wurttemberg – is home to the dwarf chimpanzee (pan paniscus), among others.
A british company, soco international, had already tested the possibility of drilling oil wells in the virunga national park in the area of lake edward several years ago. However, an international outcry – supported by an oscar-nominated documentary – led to a turnaround. Soco withdrew from the congo in 2014.