Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also the continent’s most biologically diverse protected area. The park’s 7,800 square kilometers (3,000 square miles) is the last refuge of the endangered mountain gorilla as well as elephants, hippos, chimpanzees and countless other species.
UK oil company SOCO International PLC has been pressing to explore for oil in the park, risking the pristine habitat in search of easy money. Such exploration is illegal under the law of Congo but SOCO do not appear to care and appear to be willing to use their financial weight to muscle their way into the park. SOCO allegedly bribed the president of the DR of Congo to gain permission to drill in the Park.
In January 2011 SOCO employees allegedly forced their way into the Park, resulting in several international agencies declaring their intention to bring lawsuits against SOCO. SOCO's money is destabilizing an already fragile region and they must not be allowed to destroy this critical environmental treasure (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOCO_International).