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.

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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.

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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.
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The Albertine Graben is home to Virunga National Park in the Eastern DRC which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site and accommodates 43% of Africa’s bird species, 27% of Africa’s mammals and more than 10% of its reptiles, amphibians, and plants in addition to several rare and endangered species that exist nowhere else… Read More

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Last month, the Minister of Energy informed the public through a news briefing that on May 8, 2019, Uganda’s Ministry of Energy will launch the second competitive licencing round for oil blocks. The launch will take place in Kenya. . Some of the oil blocks that are set to be put up for licencing on Wednesday… Read More

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In April 2013, the Paris Forum, organized by the French Development Agency (FDA), the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), was held at the UNESCO. On that occasion, Goodplanet presented a short movie based on Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s aerial views about the green economy issues. This movie invites you… Read More

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Africa’s oldest national park is under threat – 60 NGOs sign call for action. Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most bio-diverse areas on the planet. For the past three years Global Witness has been driving a major international campaign to stop oil companies drilling in… Read More

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#ONE EARTH ONE LAW love the Earth protect the Earth make it a crime to destroy the Earth ECOCIDE is: “loss or damage to, or destruction of ecosystem(s) of a given territory(ies), such that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants has been or will be severely diminished.”   A law prohibiting ecocide is not yet in… Read More

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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?”

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