Africa’s oldest national park could be worth US$1.1 billion per year if developed sustainably, rather than being given over to potentially-damaging oil extraction, a report released by WWF on August 1st, 2 found.
Virunga National Park has the potential to generate 45,000 permanent jobs through investments in hydropower, the fishery industry and ecotourism, according to analysis conducted by Dalberg Global Development Advisors, an independent consulting firm.
The Economic Value of Virunga National Park says exploitation of oil concessions, which have been allocated across 85 per cent of the World Heritage property, could bring pollution, cause instability and cost people their jobs.
“Virunga represents a valuable asset to Democratic Republic of the Congo and contributes to Africa’s heritage as the oldest and most biodiverse park on the continent,” the report says. “Plans to explore for oil and exploit oil reserves put Virunga’s value at risk.”
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