Kinshasa, 26 September, 2012 – London-based oil company SOCO has been granted permission to conduct aerial surveys for oil exploration in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The British foreign office said today that both SOCO and the DRC government must “respect the international conventions to which it is signatory”.
In response, Irène Wabiwa, Forest Campaigner with Greenpeace Africa, said:
“Greenpeace Africa welcomes the British government’s statement opposing SOCO International’s exploration for oil in Virunga National Park.
Greenpeace Africa rejects suggestions from the country’s oil minister to allow exploration within the park, an area of huge biodiversity, a World Heritage Site and home to the critically endangered mountain gorilla. If SOCO is allowed to drill, the company will be breaching national laws and the World Heritage Convention.”
1. Irène Wabiwa, Forest Campaigner, Greenpeace Africa (French), mobile: +243 997 853 171
2. Fiona Musana, Communications Director, Greenpeace Africa (English) +221 775 862 004