"Sale calls into question protection deal signed at Cop26 as expert warns Congo auction could be a catastrophe for wildlife, health and climate".
"The Democratic Republic of the Congo has announced it will auction oil and gas permits in critically endangered gorilla habitat and the world’s largest tropical peatlands next week. The sale raises concerns about the credibility of a forest protection deal signed with the country by Boris Johnson at Cop26.
On Monday, hydrocarbons minister Didier Budimbu said the DRC was expanding an auction of oil exploration blocks to include two sites that overlap with Virunga national park, a Unesco world heritage site home to Earth’s last remaining mountain gorillas.
The planned sale already included permits in the Cuvette Centrale tropical peatlands in the north-west of the country, which store the equivalent to three years’ global emissions from fossil fuels.
The Congo basin is the only major rainforest that sucks in more carbon than it emits and experts have described it as the worst place in the world to explore for fossil fuels."