The conservation group WWF is calling on a UK-based company to abandon its plans to explore for oil in Africa's oldest national park.
Soco denied the claim of endangering the environment of the park, saying it was currently only evaluating the resources there. Soco is the only company of its kind working in Virunga after France's Total said it would not do so.
WWF says instead of oil exploration, sustainable activities such as hydropower generation, fishing and ecotourism, should be developed.
See Virunga's website: http://www.visitvirunga.org/about-virunga/
Virunga National Park is a 7800 square kilometer World Heritage Site that lies on the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the oldest, most beautiful and most diverse national park on the African continent that and boasts savannas, lava plains, swamps, erosion valleys, forests, active volcanoes and the ice fields of the Rwenzori Mountains.
The park provides a home to numerous species of wildlife, including 200 of the world's critically endangered mountain gorillas and a small population of eastern lowland gorillas.
For years the political situation in Congo prevented tourists from visiting Virunga. Now that the Democratic Republic of Congo is ruled by an elected government and is at peace with her neighbors, the park has been re-opened to tourists and the world is re-discovering one of its most treasured places.