Don't Open a UNESCO World Heritage Site to Oil Exploration!

  • by: Chris Wolverton
  • recipient: Augustin Matata Ponyo, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo

Virunga National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site located in the Congo, is the oldest and most biologically diverse park in Africa. Over the past 20 years, however, armed conflict and poaching have endangered the site's ecosystem. Instead of taking action to protect the area's wildlife, prime minister Augustin Matata Ponyo expressed wishes to explore for oil in the park.

Soco International, a British oil company registered on the London Stock Exchange, finished a seismic study in July 2014. Their exploration included parts of Lake Edward, home to dozens of endangered species. The park's wildlife famously includes mountain gorillas, which aren't found anywhere else on the planet.

The Congo needs to work to preserve this precious ecosystem, not enable oil exploration which will harm it further. Please urge the Congo's prime minister to choose the environment over big oil!

We, the undersigned, are concerned with your plans to explore Virunga National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, for oil. As you know, armed conflict and poaching have compromised the park's ecosystem over the past 20 years.

We understand that Soco International, a British oil company registered on the London Stock Exchange, finished a seismic study in July 2014. Their exploration included parts of Lake Edward, home to dozens of endangered species. The park's wildlife famously includes mountain gorillas, which aren't found anywhere else on the planet.

We believe that the Congo needs to work to preserve this precious ecosystem, not enable oil exploration which will harm it further. We respectfully urge you to choose the environment over big oil. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider our petition.

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