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The Democratic Republic of Congo is accepting bids for leases to 30 blocks of some of the world’s most valuable land until February 2023 to open it up for oil and gas exploration. The land is a mix of lush green rainforest, peatlands, and mountains, and it’s the best carbon sink in the world. These lands absorb more carbon dioxide than they produce. The peatlands are about the size of the United Kingdom and have trapped an estimated 30 billion metric tons of carbon, about as much as the entire world emits in three years. At least two of the blocks for lease touch on one of the world’s last mountain gorilla sanctuaries in the Virunga National Park. Perhaps more critical for Congo, these blocks of land contain an estimated $650 billion in oil and gas, which will help diversify the DRC’s economy, moving it from near complete reliance on mining.