UK oil company Soco has ended its oil exploration operations in Virunga. But for Virunga to be safe in the long-term, we need the DRC government to cancel all oil exploration permits as requested by UNESCO, and for sustainable development to start.
Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park and a treasured World Heritage Site. It’s the size of a small country, straddling the equator in Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It’s got more than its share of wonderful wildlife - not just huge numbers of unique birds, but African icons like lions, elephants, hippos, chimps and the remarkable okapi. And a quarter of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas. People who live and work there know it’s a very special place.
The future for Virunga
Soco's withdrawal from Virunga is a victory for the people who depend directly on the park’s resources and a triumph for everyone who values the rare plants, animals and habitats the park was set up to protect. With the development of hydropower, fisheries and ecotourism industries, Virunga can have a prosperous and sustainable future.
Now is the time for the DRC government to reaffirm its conviction that Virunga has outstanding universal value for all humanity by cancelling all oil concessions overlapping the park, as requested by UNESCO. Only then will Virunga’s outstanding value truly be secure for the future, and only then can the park reach its full potential to drive sustainable economic development in Democratic Republic of the Congo. We will also continue to say no to the pressures putting World Heritage Sites in danger across the globe.
Thank you for your support and please join us in protecting more places like Virunga.