About 30,000 people benefit economically from fishing within the park, and another 20,000 benefit from commercial activities related to the fishing industry.
Additionally, revenue generated by mountain gorilla ecotourism programmes has provided funding for conservation work and for community development projects in the area. In one nearby village, citizens conducted a public rally
to voice their concerns over the proposed oil exploration.
It is feared that the area could suffer from socio-economic tensions, crime and insecurity if development were to proceed, as witnessed in the Niger Delta