June 4th, 2013: German Parliament Opposes Oil Drilling in Virunga National Park


German Parliament Opposes Oil Drilling Plans in Congolese Conservation Areas

German Parliament Opposes Oil Drilling Plans in Congolese Conservation Areas

The Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Germany want to prevent the destruction of Congolese Natural Heritage Sites. The illegal exploitation of resources, particularly in eastern Congo – one of the main sources of violence against man and nature, according to the motion – was for the first time on the Bundestag plenary agenda.

request by members of the Bundestag points to the Congolese plans for systematic, large-scale resource extraction to finance development. Since the institutional foundations are not specified, it is feared that resource extraction might not be to the benefit of citizens, but for the benefit of individual influential people and groups leading to more conflicts and violence against humanity and the environment.

The Members of Parliament are concerned that the Democratic Republic of Congo wants to allow oil exploration in all national parks, including the Virunga Volcano region with its vast natural resources, and in the UNESCO World Heritage areas.

Oil exploration threatens the results and continuation of the long-term German-Congolese cooperation in biodiversity and forest protection programmes.

The request calls for the German government to use its influence in the countries of Central Africa and in particular the Democratic Republic of Congo with the aim to give biodiversity and forest protection highest priority. This should be embedded in a strategy to support sustainable stability and development in eastern Congo and other conflict areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Furthermore, the Bundestag calls for the German Government to urge the Kinshasa government to distance themselves from a new law to legalise oil drilling in protected areas.

The Congolese government should be supported to find sustainable solutions to pressing development issues that do not jeopardise the future protection of national parks and protected areas in the country.