A proposal by British oil-exploration company Soco International to look for oil in Africa's oldest national park is being criticized by the conservation group World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), which says Soco's plan puts the park's true value at risk.
Soco International wants to explore for oil beneath Lake Edward, which exists within Virunga National Park in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. About two-thirds of the lake is within the DRC's political boundary, the rest is in western Uganda, which has seen windfall from recent oil exploration efforts within its own borders.
The WWF suggests that the national park could bring in more than $1 billion in revenue each year if developed sustainably through the creation of jobs in hydropower, the fishing industry and ecotourism.
The park is home to more than 3,000 kind of animals, including endangered mountain gorillas.
Virunga National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage ...