It has been two years since EcoInternet first alerted the international community that SOCO International – a London-listed oil company – planned to explore for oil in Virunga National Park. Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park and an UNESCO World Heritage site; and is home to a large population of wild gorillas, many other important wildlife species, primary rainforest ecosystems, and forest-dependent communities. Our earlier protests together caused other companies considering oil exploration to pull out. And opposition is growing as WWF has embraced the campaign, successfully bringing the case to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Oil exploration in these globally vital rainforest ecosystems will further set a dangerous precedent that nowhere – whether protected, or ecologically important – is immune from oil industry destruction. It appears every last bit of Earth's large, wild and intact ecosystems will be sacrificed to industrial development – to extend our dependence upon fossil fuel, and delay transition now to renewable energy sources – ensuring abrupt run-away climate change and global ecosystem collapse.
India is a thriving democratic nation with tremendous potential to achieve just, equitable, and ecologically sustainable national development that could last forever. Yet India is heading towards social and ecological collapse unless it stops burning coal and clearing its natural ecosystems, especially important old-growth forest remnants. The momentum of unfettered economic and population growth sweeping India is so severely damaging to the environment that failure to stop burning and cutting threatens the nation's reliable climate, food and water supplies, and its future potential for sustained national economic advancement. India is an amazing place in so many ways. There is still hope that they will come to understand the importance of a different development model based upon intact natural ecosystems.
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