Save Virunga gives a voice to local communities who depend on the survival of Virunga National Park for their livelihoods. We believe that local communities and civil society have a say in the decision and future of the region. Virunga should be a place where no oil extraction and pollution occurs, a place where people develop sustainable livelihoods based on healthy and intact ecosystems.

facebook twitter youtube

 

Issues and Local Voices

What is Happening in Virunga and with the Communities?

Virunga National Park

The Virunga National Park  is Africa’s oldest and most biodiverse park. It is a 7800 square km National Park that stretches from the Virunga Mountains in the South, to the Rwenzori Mountains in the North, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, bordering Rwanda and Uganda.

The Oil Threat

The park’s future is threatened: oil has been discovered, and the Congolese government has awarded three concessions for oil exploration, which cover 85% of the park. Oil becomes the most important threat to the park, to the communities and to the ecosystem.

Lake Edward

Lake Edward is one of the Great African Lakes, on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda.
The lake was named by the explorer Henry Morton Stanley in honour of Prince Albert Edward, The Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII.

The Oil Company

SOCO International plc is an international oil and gas exploration and production company, headquartered in London. SOCO holds rights on the oil concession in BLOCK V (85%).SOCO’s contract allows them access to a big part of Virunga National Park threatening the park with disruptive seismic tests, forest clearing, underground drilling and the laying of oil pipelines.

The Communities

Virunga’s fauna and flora, as well as the political and security situation in the Great Lakes region are tied closely to the people and to the protection and preservation of this ecosystem. Disruptions in one element will lead automatically to changes in the others.

The local Defenders

Since the beginning of SOCO’s exploration operations in Virunga National Park, Environmental and Human Rights defenders have been fighting for the survival of the park and the respect of community rights. Many of them are facing threats when fighting for Virunga and promoting the sustainable development option for the region and communities.

READ THE REST OF THE ISSUES HERE

View All Issues
People Involved

The Team

Save Virunga

Save Virunga brings out the power of local communities and conveys their messages to protect Virunga and preserve the integrity of its ecosystems for future generations.
Our Blog

Latest Updates

Just a few days ago, another six rangers were killed in an ambush at DR Congo’s Virunga National Park. This is a small fraction of the more than 200 rangers killed in the past, including 12 last April in the deadliest of such attacks in recent memory. We always seem to notice rangers in their… Read More

Continue Reading

The real cure for COVID is renewing our fractured relationship with the planet JAMES MASKALYK AND DAVE COURCHENE If humanity is to endure, the coming months must hold healing, not just of populations across the globe from the coronavirus, but of the Earth herself. As is true of many zoonoses (diseases that jumped from animals),… Read More

Continue Reading

A group of about 580 savanna elephants recently returned to Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after crossing over from Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. The reappearance of the elephants brings hope to a park that’s been beset with civil unrest, violence, and poaching for decades. In May, Virunga National… Read More

Continue Reading

2020 will go down as a somber year in human history with a global pandemic and a year full of protest against racial injustice. For Virunga National Park, 2020, will be remembered as the deadliest year in the history of the park with 21 Rangers and Employees who tragically lost their lives in 2020. Today… Read More

Continue Reading

All these amazing pictures are from Patrick Tete (@PatrickTete_)

Continue Reading

Virunga National Park has for more than two decades been going through a period characterized by various threats due not only to the activism of armed groups but also to the pressure exerted by local communities on natural resources, a phenomenon resulting from manipulations on the part of certain political leaders. Faced with this last… Read More

Continue Reading
View Blog
Testimonials

What Our Supporters Think

 “For all of the people in the local communities of Virunga: We are listening, and we stand with you to protect Virunga and to protect the people in the Virunga region.”

“The idea of drilling a UNESCO world heritage site for oil is shocking. We have to keep it for future generations and protect the inhabiting species and not let them disappear in front of our eyes. I pray that the organisations and governments can put enough pressure on the DRC to recall any licences for oild explorations.”

“Thanks as always for these updates on the situation with oil exploration in Virunga.”

“A perfect and intelligent representation of the plight of the gorilla and draws all our attention to what is happening to this and so many other endangered species that we say we treasure-do we really?”

TAKE ACTION

Steps to help local communities: say no to oil in Virunga

Learn How
%d bloggers like this: