French oil giant Total to stay out of Virunga
In response to an open letter from WWF to its investors, the oil company Total has committed to not explore for oil within the current boundaries of the world-renowned Virunga National Park – famed for its mountain gorillas. Africa’s oldest national park, Virunga is protected by law, but oil concessions cover 85% of its surface. The integrity and natural values of Virunga may be greatly damaged by oil developments which can involve seismic tests, forest clearing and increased human presence, threatening wildlife and local livelihoods.
WWF now urges UK oil company SOCO - the only company with plans to operate inside Virunga - to abandon these plans and pledge to keep out of UN World Heritage sites.