Didier Reynders welcomes the agreement between SOCO and the WWF

date: 11 June 2014

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders welcomes the excellent news of an agreement between the WWF and British petroleum company SOCO. With this agreement, the company commits to ending its oil exploration activities in Virunga Park, which UNESCO recognizes as a World Heritage Site. For months now, Didier Reynders has wished to draw the attention of the British authorities to these activities and to the risk that they constitute for the park’s ecosystem, which is unique in the world. The minister also thanks his colleague, William Hague, for having responded positively to his concerns. Minister Reynders reminds all those involved with this file that there are alternatives to the exploitation of petroleum that could contribute to the sustainable development of the region. According to WWF estimations, they would also be more beneficial economically as well as socially to the local population and the Congolese State. Belgium is prepared to support these types of projects, as it has already done through the financing of hydroelectric power stations.