IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR WWF - In this image released on Thursday, August 1, 2013, male chimpanzee Opi is seen in Tongo, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo. Africa's oldest national park... more 
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR WWF - In this image released on Thursday, August 1, 2013, male chimpanzee Opi is seen in Tongo, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo. Africa's oldest national park could be worth $1.1 billion per year if developed sustainably, rather than being given over to potentially-damaging oil extraction, a report released by WWF today has found. Virunga National Park has the potential to generate 45,000 permanent jobs through investments in hydropower, the fishery industry and ecotourism, according to analysis conducted by Dalberg Global Development Advisors, an independent consulting firm. Environmental impacts from oil extraction could threaten Virunga's freshwater ecosystems, rich forests and rare wildlife, the WWF-commissioned study found. The park is home to over 3,000 different kinds of animals, including critically endangered mountain gorillas. IMPORTANT NOTE BY WWF - VIRUNGA CAMPAIGN 2013: Whilst this image was photographed in Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo, WWF does not claim the actual animal(s) depicted were photographed in the 'Block V' area of Virunga National Park where oil extraction is intended to take place. (naturepl.com/Jabruson/WWF-Canon via AP Images) less 
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Associated Press
Thu, Aug 1, 2013 5:09 AM EDT