Following the meeting last July 31 between traditional leaders from the area around the UNESCO World Heritage Site Salonga National Park and the EU delegation in Kinshasa, where the oil exploration project in the Park had been discussed, Patient Muamba, Forest Campaign Manager at Greenpeace Africa has said:
“It is high time that the European Union goes beyond words and starts acting against oil exploration in the national parks of the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
In a letter from June 21, 2018, addressed to Congolese Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala, the European Union, the United States, Canada and Switzerland stated: “The approval of production sharing contracts linked to oil blocks covering Salonga and Virunga National Parks raises great concern. We reiterate our commitment to respect the integrity and preservation of these sites with extraordinary ecological values. Oil exploration and exploitation are not compatible with the status of World Heritage site, nor with the objective of sustainable and equitable development pursued by the DRC …”
However, since the declaration was made, no concrete steps have been taken to discourage European oil companies from exploring oil in the peatlands.
A part of the Central Basin (la Cuvette Centrale) is covered with peatlands recently discovered and estimated by scientists to store up to 30.6 billion tons of carbon.
“Peatlands are a carbon bomb. They must be considered as a “no-go area” for any industrial company. Greenpeace Africa reiterates its demand for President Félix Tshisekedi to cancel the oil blocks allocated to Compagnie Minière Congolaise SPRL (CoMiCo) and DIG OIL, and to prohibit any industrial activity in the Salonga Park and peat bogs. The DRC government must act to protect the peatlands and the entire world from an ecological disaster.
Reactive online: link
Afy Malungu, Communications Officer – Greenpeace Africa, [email protected],+243 991 521 250
Patient Muamba, Forest Campaigner – Greenpeace Africa, [email protected]peace.org, +243 994 862 267