The Salonga National Park in central Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been removed from UNESCO’s list of World Heritage in Danger. This is an early decision according to environmental activists, who continue to call for the cancellation of oil concessions granted in the Salonga and Virunga parks by the DRC government.
Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve, the Salonga National Park has been removed from “World Heritage in Danger” list.
UNESCO removed the Salonga National Park, the largest in DRC, from the list of World Heritage in Danger; Geraldine Boechat; MedAfrica Times
The Democratic Republic of Congo scored a key heritage victory on Monday as UNESCO removed one of its nature reserves from a list of threatened sites, the UN agency said.
An opaque Guernsey-owned company’s oil contract threatening Salonga National Park in Democratic Republic Congo could be null and void, according to our legal analysis.
The largest protected tropical rainforest in Africa – Salonga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo – is at risk from oil exploration thanks to a secretive deal with an opaque company.
As we have previously revealed, the Democratic Republic of Congo government is attempting to reclassify swathes of two UNESCO protected World Heritage Sites – Salonga and Virunga National Parks – to allow oil exploration to take place. In our new investigation, we shine a light on the opaque ownership and secret deals of one company that potentially stands to gain from government attempts to open up the area to oil, COMICO, which was allocated an oil block that partially overlaps Salonga National Park.
We expose how individuals involved in the original deal to purchase these controversial oil rights include a politically connected individual, a convicted fraudster, a businessman embroiled in the Brazilian ‘Car Wash’ scandal and mysterious shell companies.
Moreover, the details of the contract remain unknown, in contravention of Congo’s own oil law.
Salonga park sits on peatlands that scientists say could release massive quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if disturbed
DAKAR, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Democratic Republic of Congo’s oil minister on Thursday defended the country’s right to explore for oil anywhere on its territory after media reports that President Joseph Kabila approved drilling in Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve.
Oil minister Aime Ngoy Mukena declined to confirm a report in Germany’s Die Tageszeitung newspaper that Kabila had this month authorised exploration inside Salonga National Park, but he said that no land should be off-limits.
Salonga, a UNESCO World Heritage site, covers 33,350 sq km of the Congo Basin, the world’s second-largest rainforest. It is home to rare species including bonobos, forest elephants, dwarf chimpanzees and Congo peacocks.
The park in central Congo’s Cuvette Centrale also sits on peatlands that scientists say could release massive quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmsophere if disturbed.
Ngoy Mukena said the government was mindful of environmental considerations but was intent on developing its hydrocarbons sector.