Environmental rights groups have raised concerns about the Democratic Republic of Congo government’s authorisation of oil-exploration drilling activities in two of the country’s national parks, Face2FaceAfrica reported.
The rights groups have warned that, not only will the drilling create an environmental disaster, but also threaten the livelihoods of Congolese farmers and fisherman who depend on the forests for survival.
However, the DRC government has said that it will 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, rights groups had resisted the move, highlighting how the development would impact on the parks and the people.
Some of the critically endangered species that would suffer if the government opens up one of Africa’s oldest and most biodiverse park, include the forest elephants, peacocks, and gorillas among others, the report said.