The Gorilla Project podcast

Episode #2: Congo to Auction Land to Oil Companies: ‘Our Priority Is Not to Save the Planet’

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On July 24, 2022, Ruth Maclean and Dionne Searcey released an article in the New York Times that attracted a great deal of attention titled "Congo to Auction Land to Oil Companies: 'Our Priority Is Not to Save the Planet'". The article's subtitle read: 'Peatlands and rainforests in the Congo Basin protect the planet by storing carbon. Now, in a giant leap backward for the climate, they're being auctioned off for drilling.' According to Searcey and MacLean's article, the government of the D.R.C. had planned to auction off vast amounts of land in and around the Congo River Basin to capitalize on the demand for fossil fuels. Many of you remember the film "Virunga," which showed the trouble the rangers in the DRC's Virunga National Park had fending off the oil companies who wanted to drill there. The New York Times article stated that the DRC government would auction oil and gas blocks affecting Virunga and the tropical peatlands. The forests and peatlands of the Congo River Basin store vast amounts of carbon. According to scientists, if they mine it for oil, they will release the carbon into the air and displace or kill the gorillas who live there. Greenpeace Africa describes the peatlands as "a biodiversity hotspot containing about 30 gigatons of carbon."


New York Times article: "Congo to Auction Land to Oil Companies: 'Our Priority Is Not to Save the Planet'"

The Global Climate Summit (COP26)

The COP26 Letter of Intent

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

President Tshisekedi's speech at COP26

The D.R.C.'s Twitter announcement (it's back online for now)

World’s intact tropical forests reached ‘peak carbon uptake’ in the 1990s

Asynchronous carbon sink saturation in African and Amazonian tropical forests

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