Despite an outcry from the international community and bodies like UNESCO, IUCN, the EU, and many others including Greenpeace, the DRC government and SOCO are continuing to develop oil exploration plans.
An international collection of NGOs recently wrote this open letter to the Congolese government to encourage them to “consider the concerns and reasons expressed…by local communities living in and around the Virunga National Park who are faced with the prospect of oil exploration and exploitation.” They believe that the issue of the Virunga cannot stand alone as an environmental issue, but needs to be viewed from the security/conflict angle and the natural resources angle, embedded within the Great Lakes region.
Continuing, the letter says, “We remain committed, as members of the international community, to follow and support the actions of the Congolese government and Congolese civil society for the protection of the environment, political and social stability, sustainable development and the safeguarding of world heritage.”
The main signatories:
Rainforest Foundation UK
Rainforest Foundation Norway
IUCN, National Committee of the Netherlands
Coalition du Mouvement Nord-Sud en Flandre – 11.11.11
Friend of the Earth Netherlands
Ian Redmond, Chairman of the Ape Alliance
Mensen met een Missie
Fastenopfer/Action de Carême
African Conservation Foundation
CADTM – Comité pour l’Annulation de la Dette du Tiers Monde
Source: Greenpeace Africa