One of the more troubling developments in East African wildlife conservation has been the threat of oil exploration within the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Virunga National Park – one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Permission to conduct seismic testing within the park’s boundaries had been granted to the British oil company, Soco, by the DRC’s government. Criticism flowed from the world-wide conservation community, but it looked like nothing was going to change. However, the recent attempted assassination of the Virunga National Park’s chief warden, Emmanuel de Mérode, caught the attention of news media around the world. Today’s edition of The Guardian features an article stating that Soco has finally bowed to the increasing pressure and announced it will cease its explorations. Let’s chalk this one up for the good guys – and those gentle, but imposing primates – the mountain gorillas.
Here is The Guardian article.