Great Lakes NGOs call on Uganda and DRC Presidents to Stop Oil Projects in Protected Areas in Greater Virunga

Global Rights Alert and 28 of her partners have written to Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Joseph Kabila of Democratic Republic of Congo calling on the two leaders to stop any planned oil projects on Lake Edward. The 2,325 square kilometre lake located in the Albertine Rift Valley is shared by both countries.

Fisheries Lake Edward
Fisheries Lake Edward

GRA wants Presidents Museveni and Kabila to take a firm commitment not to permit any mining or oil licenses throughout the entire Lake Edward and Greater Virunga Landscape.

The petition states that the planned activities in Ngali oil Block on the Uganda side and Block V on the DR Congo side will affect the entire lake’s ecosystem and the communities whose livelihoods depend on the lake. The planned oil activities will also affect the wildlife and ecosystem of Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda and DRC Virunga National Park, UNESCO World Heritage site.

GRA and her partners want the two governments to look at the long term benefits of preserving the lake as well as the tourism sites which bring in much needed foreign exchange in terms of tourism dollars. In 2014 alone, tourism contributed 9.9% of Uganda’s GDP. The sector also created some 592,500 jobs in Uganda, increasing disposable income and enabling Ugandans to live a better life.

The petition reminds the two governments of their obligations to the respect of laws and international legal instruments signed by Uganda and DR Congo which call for protection and conservation of protected areas.

Please join us for this sustained effort to stop any exploration on these protected areas.

#VoteforIUCNMotion26 #KeepItWild


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2 thoughts on “Great Lakes NGOs call on Uganda and DRC Presidents to Stop Oil Projects in Protected Areas in Greater Virunga

  1. we must establish a colony of gorillas in a country where they won’t be poached or eaten by hungry people !!! a country such as Papua New Guinea should be looked into. Virunga is a lost cause. too complicated and too many problems that will never be fixed. the gorilla needs to be translocated now !!!!

    1. There are not lost causes in conservation, only people that give up or look at short term solutions. This is not a real option, Gorillas as many other species live in symbiosis with their natural environment and their survival depends greatly on the state of their habitat. Bringing them to another rainforest will not assure their survival nor solve the real problem. One of the big threats to the Virunga Mountain gorillas and many other species and parks in the world is extractive industries; Gorillas should not be translocated in order to accommodate mining or oil exploration interests. The habitat and home of gorillas, protected areas, sacred sites, all should be protected against this kind of developments. We all need to focus on the conservation of all these irreplaceable places and the protection of the universal values that make Virunga a unique World heritage site and also the last refuge of these great apes.

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