Permits for controversial oil exploration in Virunga National Park have been released after request by NGO Global Witness. Oil company, SOCO International, has confirmed it has received two permits to undertake preliminary exploration, including seismic tests, in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Virunga is famous for its population of the Critically Endangered mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei).
"Undertaking oil exploration or exploitation on the ground in a UNESCO World Heritage site constitutes a breach of the Convention on World Heritage, as well as DRC’s own laws and constitution," said Colin Robertson with Global Witness in a press release.
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