August 11, 2021, Kinshasa – Greenpeace Africa supports the demand by a group of 205 local NGOs to cancel the mining permit of the Chinese firm Kimia Mining located within the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Following the false comfort last month of seeing Salonga National Park removed from the list of World Heritage in Danger, reality is back with a vengeance,” says Irene Wabiwa Betoko, Greenpeace Africa International Project Leader for the Congo Basin forest. “This sell-off of forests by the ministers who are supposed to protect them must stop — for the good of forest communities, nature and the climate,” she concludes.
The Okapi Reserve, located in Ituri Province in the northeast of the country, is home to endangered species of primates and birds, and about 5,000 of the 30,000 okapis living in the wild.
The authorization of the mining activities of Kimia violates, inter alia, article 25 of a February 11, 2014 conservation law which stipulates that “Any activity incompatible with the objectives of conservation is prohibited in protected areas. Subject to the exceptions provided for in this law, any right granted within the limits of protected areas and their buffer zones is void.”
Greenpeace Africa fully supports the demands formulated by these 205 NGOs and calls on Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde to give them urgent attention. Greenpeace Africa calls on Mining Minister Antoinette N’samba Kalambayi to comply with nature conservation laws and immediately cancel Kimia Mining’s mining license.
Contacts for interviews:
Media and Communication, Greenpeace Africa,
[email protected], +243810679437
Irène Wabiwa Betoko,
International Project Manager for the Congo Basin Forest a.i., Greenpeace Africa,
[email protected], +243976756102