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Communities Resist Oil Explorers

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is auctioning rights to explore for oil in large swathes of rainforest and other protected areas across the country. The process has sparked fierce yet familiar debate about environment and development and set the stage for a legal fight over community rights. Some of the oil blocks up for auction lie within the Congo basin rainforest, which is peppered with small farming and fishing communities. DRC law requires the government to get the opinion of local people before any project or activity that may have an impact on the environment, yet people here say they have not been asked about the auction.