WWF commissioned Dalberg Global Development Advisors to study Virunga’s current and potential social and economic value - and to indicate the implications of oil exploration and exploitation.
Virunga National Park (Virunga) is recognized globally as a uniquely rich site for wildlife, but it is much more than that. Virunga is also a vital resource to local residents living in and around Africa’s oldest national park.
Under present circumstances, Virunga’s estimated annual economic value is US$48.9 million. In a stable situation conducive to economic growth and tourism, the park’s value could be higher than US$1.1 billion per year and it could be the source of more than 45,000 jobs, including existing positions.
Based on the findings of The Economic Value of Virunga National Park, WWF urges governments, oil companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focused on conservation, human rights and development to take immediate steps to protect the park from oil exploration. WWF also encourages all stakeholders to work together to unlock Virunga’s potential as a sustainable source of direct income to local communities, the park management and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) government.