DRC: opposed to oil, environmental defenders say they are threatened

DRC: opposed to oil, environmental defenders say they are threatened

Three weeks after the government launched tenders for 30 oil and gas blocks in the Democratic Republic of Congo, environmental defenders continue to face direct threats.

Environmental groups, including Greenpeace Africa, say they are facing threats over their opposition to the auctioning of oil fields in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Three weeks after the government launched tenders for 30 oil and gas blocks in the DRC, environmental defenders continue to face direct threats, say in a press release eight of these organizations.

An oil block is a territorial concession of a country to an oil company for exploration or exploitation.

In addition to Greenpeace, the signatories include the Rainforest Foundation and the network for the Conservation and Rehabilitation of Forest Ecosystems (CREF).

Declarations of some Congolese government ministers have fanned the flames, the organizations deplore, demanding that authorities adopt a more tolerant rhetoric and take steps to protect the rights of environmental defenders.

The DRC government launched calls for tenders for the exploitation of 27 oil and 3 gas blocks at the end of July, promising to ensure compliance with environmental standards.

In a previous statement, Greenpeace had denounced these oil and gas exploitation projects, warning against the catastrophic consequences they could have on neighboring communities, on biodiversity and on the climate, because in particular affecting a complex rich in peat bogs.

The organization also warned against the curse of oil and its attendant violence and poverty.

We will not let anyone deprive us of nature, clean air and water, or a stable climate, campaigners assure.

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