The 39th session of the Unesco World Heritage Committee turned its attention to Virunga National Park this morning and draft resolution 7A.4.
As member states took it in turns to speak, they displayed an overwhelming sense of support for the park, sharing their condolences for the rangers who’ve lost their lives protecting its overall universal value.
Similarly, the parties agreed almost unanimously on the subject of oil, expressing that boundary modifications should not be made to the park in order to to allow for oil extraction.
Some member states noted that a boundary modification had not yet been applied for but that it had been a topic of discussion for the Congolese Government. Others made a direct plea to the government to cancel all permits granting permission to mine for oil in Virunga National Park.
Finally, the member states highlighted the improvements they’d witnessed in Virunga National Park over the last year, in terms of security and evaluation.
If you’d like to read the draft resolution in full, please visit: http://whc.unesco.org/archive/2015/whc15-39com-7A-en.pdf