WWF and SOCO have reached an agreement in relation to WWF’s complaint to the UK National Contact Point (‘NCP’) under the Organisation for Economic Co‐operation and Development (‘OECD’) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. On the basis that SOCO has agreed to issue and honour the statement set out below, WWF has agreed to stop further pursuit of its complaint.
Both parties look forward to working responsibly with the Democratic Republic of Congo (‘DRC’) and its people to ensure that future development benefits both people and the environment.
Both parties would also like to thank the NCP for its work on this matter, and look forward to its statement in relation to this complaint.
Statement by SOCO International plc
“In relation to Virunga National Park we will complete our existing operational programme of work in Virunga which we anticipate will conclude within approximately 30 days of the date of this statement. The company commits not to undertake or commission any exploratory or other drilling within Virunga National Park unless UNESCO and the DRC government agree that such activities are not incompatible with its World Heritage status.
SOCO commits not to conduct any operations in any other World Heritage site. The company will seek to ensure that any current or future operations in buffer zones adjacent to World Heritage sites, as defined by the national government and UNESCO, do not jeopardise the Outstanding Universal Value for which these sites are listed.
SOCO confirms that when we undertake environmental impact assessments and human rights due diligence, the processes we adopt will be in full compliance with international norms and standards and industry best practice, including appropriate levels of community consultation and engagement on the basis of publicly available documents."