Wednesday 26 March 2014

the blog elly @tourism in uganda :


Oil exploration threatens Africa’s billion dollar UNESCO world heritage site. (Virunga mountains national park.)
When we heard of UK SOCO international plc were exploring for oil inside the virunga we had to inform the whole world to draw the line against these invasive activities
Virunga is one of Africa’s oldest national parks and a jewel in the crown of Africa’s natural heritage site shared by three countries; Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. It hosts more species of mammals including Africa’s icons like the lions, elephants, hippos, chimpanzees, the remarkable okapi, huge number of birds and the quarter of world’s critically remaining endangered mountain gorillas. SOCO’s exploring for oil is another threat to virunga despite the civil unrest and wars that has put pressure on the lives of local people, wildlife and resources on and off for a long period of time.
But I believe oil exploration would bring new an acceptable level of risk to virunga’s environment and local communities despite some people’s arguments that it would bring benefits is unlikely. We have seen places where oil exploration (oil spills) has led to fatal environmental consequences such as in the Niger delta. Should oil exploration lead to extraction in and around the park? This could rob the future development of surrounding communities and wellbeing of people, this is not a development pathway we want to see. There is a second hydropower project that has started on the river that runs through virunga national park in the eastern Democratic republic of Congo that’s funded by Americans. Even though it is expected to provide hydropower of worse 12.5 megawatts and safe drinking water to the communities. These and many invasive activities have led to public outcry from international bodies like the world wildlife fund, UNESCO, world heritage site committee, ecotourists and local people  which present an alternative potentially damaging oil exploration which is currently being pursued by UK SOCO international plc on vurunga’s lake Edward which provides fish, raw materials and drinking water to 50,000 people.

Despite this opposition SOCO is pressing ahead with operations. In October 2013 the world wildlife fund filled a complaint alleging violations of human rights and environmental provisions of the OECD guidelines for multinational companies in addition the United nations guiding principles on business and human rights stress that human rights due thoroughness  is key to way in which business can ensure they respect human rights during their operations.  This has attracted publicity in the mane of drawing the line against SOCO and it’s our right to tell it to get out of the virunga. As students of tourism and future tourism practitioners this is of great concern to join hands and the world and stop oil exploration in Virunga Mountains.
From the economic point of view the park provides socio-economic benefits like food, raw materials, water catchment, secure supplies of drinking water it’s a carbon sequestration and holds endless opportunities for the multi-sector tourism industry and recreation. I am greatly moved to join the campaign against oil exploration in virunga to save this precious park. This is a call to the international community to and various stakeholders, tourism professionals from major universities in DRC (Goma university), Uganda (Makerere university ), students, nature conservation bodies  from all over the world to mount pressure on the UK SOCO plc international from exploring oil in virunga national park.  I found it necessary regardless of the matter tourism as a course at the university but rather to defend the rights of nature and the intrinsitive to humans in the world despite the image and location of virunga national park.            
I found it more a must publicist article that has sign the petition to join international force from organizations such as the world wildlife fund, the UNESCO, UNEP and by the threatened local community’s plus home governments from the East African region to draw the line and tell SOCO international PLC to get out of virunga national park now.
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Tumwesiga elly .
Tourism activism.
+256784810295/+256704593408   (the blog elly @ tourism in Uganda).
i wish to extend  my thanks to WWF, IUCN, and other strong stakeholders who draw the line against UK SOCO plc's invasive activities.