Following the Bloomberg revelation that former DRC president Joseph Kabila signed a presidential order validating an oil deal that would allow drilling in Salonga National Park as well as in the Central Cuvette peatlands, Greenpeace Africa said:

“Greenpeace Africa calls on DRC’s new President Felix Tshisekedi to immediately cancel all of DIG Oil and CoMiCo’s oil blocks, to guarantee the present boundaries of Salonga and Virunga, and to put an end to the rampant corruption in the management of DRC’s natural resources. “

On 13 December 2018, just before he stepped down, former DRC president, Joseph Kabila signed a ordnance on the production sharing agreement with opaque South African firm DIG Oil which includes an oil block overlapping with Salonga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although oil prospecting and drilling is banned in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s protected areas, Kabila’s government sought last year to redraw the boundaries of both Salonga and Virunga parks to accommodate oil multinationals.

“The redrawing of the boundaries has not yet happened and Greenpeace Africa demands the DRC’s new President Felix Tshisekedi to stop it.”

A year ago, Kabila approved another production sharing agreement with Guernsey-registered Compagnie Minière Congolaise SPRL (CoMiCo) which also overlaps with Salonga, and which a new Global Witness legal analysis suggests may be illegal.

“This ordinance violates the Congo’s legislations related to environmental protection and nature conservation, banning all industrial activity in national parks. Oil drilling in the area would threaten local livelihoods and biodiversity, and undermine international effort to keep global warming below 1.5 °C.”

Almost 2 million hectares, an area the size of Slovenia, of DIG’s DRC oil blocks overlap with the largest tropical peatland complex in the world,  estimated to contain 30 billion tons of carbon – the equivalent of nearly 20 years of the fossil fuel emissions of the United States. Across DRC’s border with the Republic of Congo DIG Oil holds an oil block containing 167,000 ha of peatlands.

 

Media contact :

Afy Malungu, Communications Officer, Congo Basin – Greenpeace Africa, +243991521250, amalungu@greenpeace.org