BY Nduta Waweru, 5:24am July 17, 2018,

Endangered species that would suffer if DR Congo opens its national parks to oil drilling

Congo Basin. Photo: Emaze

The announcement that the Democratic Republic of Congo would allow drilling in its national park in a bid to explore oil has been met with concern by environmental rights groups.

The oil exploration is set to take place in Virunga and Salonga National Parks, home to rare species of animals and UNESCO heritage sites.

According to the rights groups not only will the drilling create an environmental disaster, it would also threaten the livelihoods of Congolese farmers and fisherman who depend on the forests for survival.

The government has however claimed that it would not start the exploration without consulting the locals and will carry out a study on the potential impact of oil drilling on local communities, said Reuters.

It is not the first time the country has received proposals for oil exploration in that parks, which combined are the size of Switzerland.  In the past, however, rights groups had resisted the move highlighting the different consequences the park and the people would suffer.

Here are the species that would suffer if the government opens up one of Africa’s oldest and most biodiverse park, and the world’s second-largest rainforest.

Last Edited by:Nduta Waweru Updated: July 17, 2018


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