SEP 26, 2012: British government opposes Soco exploration in Congo sanctuary

KINSHASA, Sept 25 (Reuters) – The British government said on Tuesday it is opposed to London-based oil company Soco International exploring for oil in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park, which is a last refuge for the region’s mountain gorillas. “We have informed Soco and urge the government of DR Congo to fully respect… Read More

Black Gold in the Congo: Threat to Stability or Development Opportunity?

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS Although it should provide development opportunities, renewed oil interest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) represents a real threat to stability in a still vulnerable post-conflict country. Exploration has begun, but oil prospecting is nurturing old resentments among local communities and contributing to border tensions with neighbouring countries. If… Read More

Sir David Attenborough made British TV history filming the Gorillas, will UK Soco repeat it destroying their habitat?

In this great video, Sir David Attenborough remembers filming perhaps one of the most ground breaking and well loved nature documentaries in the world, ‘Life on Earth’. The highlight of the series was perhaps one of the most memorable moments in British Television: David’s encounter with the mountain Gorillas in Rwanda. Source: From Michael Palin’s… Read More

MAY 16, 2012: Access or no access for SOCO to Virunga NP?

On Wednesday 16th of May, SOCO International, one of the two oil companies having participating interests in the oil concession block V covering a big part of the Virunga National Park, announced its Interim Management Statement relating to the period from 1 January 2012 to 15 May 2012. SOCO reports to have been engaging with… Read More

Mining threats on the rise in World Heritage sites

27 June 2011 | IUCN statement Paris, France, 23 June, 2011 (IUCN) – Extractive industries and governments that licence their activities should commit to stopping all mining and oil/gas exploration and exploitation activities that could damage World Heritage Sites, says the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). IUCN, the advisory body to UNESCO on… Read More

MAY 2012: Total, Virunga “is in your hands”

WWF has called on French oil company Total to refrain from exploration in Virunga National Park. At a meeting of Total shareholders and investors Friday, WWF hosted a demonstration and published an open letter to the company president. Total has been granted an oil concession that includes a portion of the World Heritage Site, which… Read More

European Parliament voices concern over Virunga National Park thanks to IUCN encouragement

The Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has recently been the subject of actions by European Parliamentarians encouraged by IUCN. The Congolese government has started a full Strategic Environmental Assessment in all the oil concession areas in and around Virunga but this study is not yet complete. Several European oil companies… Read More

Threat to Virunga National Park

By Dr Hans Friederich, Regional Director of IUCN’s Office for Europe Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is known for its mountain gorillas. Despite the ongoing conflict in the eastern DRC which has badly affected the Park and the people working in it, the Park still stands strong. With the relatively… Read More

Les Virunga en danger : que fait l’Europe?

Les autorités congolaises sont revenues sur leurs déclarations et ont délivré des permis pour de la prospection pétrolière dans le Parc national des Virunga. Nous demandons maintenant à l’Europe d’inte nsifier la pression internationale sur le gouvernement congolais pour qu’il respecte la loi et assure la protection du Parc des Virunga. Le Parc des Virunga… Read More

Le Congo autorise l’exploration pétrolière aux Virunga !

Billet par: Filip Verbelen Notre plus grande crainte vient d’être vérifiée. J’étais au Congo quand on a appris que les autorités congolaises avaient délivré un certain nombre d’autorisations pour l’exploration des réserves pétrolières dans le parc national des Virunga. Pour tous ceux qui se préoccupent de l’environnement au Congo, c’est pire qu’une baffe en pleine… Read More

OCT 2011: Hydrocarbon Ministry grants permit for exploration in Virunga NP

Two permits  giving SOCO the go-ahead were signed by DRC’s hydrocarbons and environment ministries despite a previously announced commitment by the government to suspend oil exploration in the Park pending the result of a Strategic Environmental Assessment. The assessment, funded by the EU and other international donors, is expected to be complete in late 2012.… Read More

SEP 2011: Environment Ministry authorises “aeromagnetic and aerogravimetric” surveys in Virunga NP

Two permits  giving SOCO the go-ahead were signed by DRC’s hydrocarbons and environment ministries despite a previously announced commitment by the government to suspend oil exploration in the Park pending the result of a Strategic Environmental Assessment. The assessment, funded by the EU and other international donors, is expected to be complete in late 2012.… Read More