For some, the announcement on 11 June 2014 that SOCO International, a UK-listed oil and gas company, would not drill in the Virunga National Park – a designated world heritage site in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – and not conduct any future operations in any other world heritage sites, was a major breakthrough. However, it wasn’t just conservationists that welcomed this news – major investors did too.
The Virunga National Park is home to thousands of bird, plant and mammal species, including the largest concentration of hippopotami in Africa and, of course, the famous mountain gorillas[i]. The park is also protected by the World Heritage Convention that both the UK and DRC governments have ratified. Operating in such valuable protected ecosystems can be risky from a conservation perspective but also from an investment perspective. Read more >