In 2011, the Democratic Republic of Congo received large praise from many animal activist groups for its postponement of drilling for oil in the Virunga National Park; home to the elusive mountain gorilla. While they assess the pros and cons of drilling in this protected sanctuary. Which brings into question, what is considered unworthy of praise?
This park is an UNESCO World Heritage site, which means it is considered by the international community to have significant natural importance. For an area to qualify for an UNESCO designation it must hold relevant importance to animals on an endangered species list and/or flora and fauna that offers unique medical significance.
Animal activists are advising interested parties to get outraged with the oil companies. For what result, are they expecting mega oil corporations to suddenly gain a conscience? They bleed the earth dry for a living. What compassion could they possibly have for the consequences of their actions?
It is well documented what an oil spill does to the land, water, plant, animal and human populations. What does the Congo government actually have to contemplate? With so much well documented empirical data on the negative impacts of oil drilling, there is only the short-term financial gain. While they evaluate the risks of what would be determined an acceptable loss of life to the most critically endangered animal on the planet, the mountain gorilla.
UNESCO stands to lose global creditability if drilling is allowed. It brings their program qualification and governmental adhering processes into question, with the very real consequential possibility of a global domino effect to follow. The more countries struggle for footing the less likely they are to consider the needs of animal welfare over their own gain.
A potential solution would be to negotiate a fair and fruitful incentive plan to assist Congo’s struggling economy. However, if the Congo government is steadfast on allowing greed to dictate their decision, it should be met with a confident international cooperative. Resolved to place and carryout such stringent fines on the Congo government and any potential oil drilling companies that it would leave all of them mortally wounded, financially.
An oil spill in this area would be tantamount to animal genocide of an entire species of gorilla. We are after all speaking about a species already on the brink of extinction. If that does not warrant the most severe of sanctions from the global community, what does?
A productive solution for individuals, groups, and activists to voice their concern is to start contacting relevant regions, governments, and organizations that wield the bargaining influence to affect a positive result. This should prove to be a more actionable option than penning out letters to oil companies.
Imagine the productive momentum that could happen if each actively interested person sent one well-constructed brief informative correspondence to these productive organizations and people. Together, it makes a collection of single voices reverberate into a finely tuned global chorus of positive resolution and hope for the majestic mountain gorilla.
Suggested contacts that could bring about a constructive solution to continue protecting the endangered mountain gorilla would are listed in the Animal Life Forum link listed below.