Creating a Movement of Resistance – part I : Building Trust and Understanding between Pygmy Peoples and Virunga Rangers

Marginalised for decades, Pygmy peoples are fighting for recognition and land rights. Even the term ‘pygmy’ is laced with historical racism and prejudice; they are not treated as equal citizens in their home country. At the heart of pygmy culture is their forest, central to their spiritual beliefs, and ancestral heritage it is also their source… Read More

Linking Tourism and Conservation in Virunga: One of the Planets Hotspots!

Virunga was the first national park on the continent of Africa. Today the Virunga National Park of the DR Congo is part of a three countries’ (including Rwanda and Uganda) group of protected areas covering the Virunga mountains, one of the planets hotspots with mountain gorillas as flag-ship species. For much of its long history,… Read More

Pipelines in the Greater Virunga To Be, or Not To Be, that is the Question

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles, And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep. (Hamlet by William Shakespeare) Probably many of you know (or not) that the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Uganda are… Read More

Hot off the Press : Land Grabbing and Illegal Distribution of Land in Virunga National Park

Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on the border of Uganda and Rwanda. Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park and is also the continent’s most biologically diverse protected area. The park’s 7800 square kilometers (3000 square miles) includes forests, savannas, lava plains, swamps, erosion valleys,… Read More

Stories of Bad Governments and Bad Businesses in a Fragile Virunga

Pursuing oil exploration and possible exploitation in Virunga is a good example of how greed has poisoned the souls of many. It is one of the too many stories of bad governments and bad businesses doing harm to their people and the planet, no remorse attached. In @DClimateJustice‘s insightful article, greed comes in many forms. Be it… Read More

BREAKING: DRC Virunga Park Again Threatened by Oil, links to SOCO

It was believed that  Virunga was saved after the withdrawal in 2015 of the oil company Soco who wanted to drill in the park. It was an illusion: Kinshasa has been negotiating the renewal of the controversial permit to an offshore oil company. It was June 2014. At that time, the British firm Soco International, after an… Read More

1.000 Reasons Save Virunga: The Renegade Scientist Who Taught Us to Love Gorillas

A peek into the National Geographic archives reveals how Dian Fossey refused to let anyone “cheapen” the misunderstood primates. By Nina Strochlic Before she was known around the world for living with mountain gorillas, Dian Fossey struggled to bring attention to their dwindling numbers. Certain that gorillas were on the verge of extinction, she adopted… Read More

Park Rangers Under Attack: 9 killed in DRC in 2016 – the highest number in Africa #WRD

#WORLDRANGERDAY2017 – PARK RANGERS UNDER ATTACK IN THE DRC    10 defenders killed in the DRC in 2016 – the highest number in Africa   9 of those killed were park rangers   The DRC government is threatening those campaigning against abuses in the natural resource sector Natural predators are the least of Rodrigue Katembo’s worries… Read More

1.000 Reasons Save Virunga: Saving Mother Nature And Earth

Some say the planet is sick and humans are the virus, it is undeniably we as a species have destroyed this beautiful planet at an alarming rate. Putting aside global warming and climate change, no species is as greedy as the human race, we take more than we need and leaves a trail of destruction.… Read More

Virunga for Dummies: All What you Wanted to Know about Africa’s Oldest National Park

Virunga National Park was created in 1925, contained within 790,000 hectares the greatest biological diversity of any park in Africa: from steppes, savannas and lava plains, swamps, lowland and montane forests to volcanoes and the unique giant herbs and snowfields of Rwenzori over 5,000m high. Thousands of hippopotamuses lived in its rivers, its mountains are a… Read More

The Congo’s Midas Curse: Nature and People

Virunga National Park is a major source of revenue for armed groups that exploit illegally its resources such as wildlife, minerals and charcoal. The trafficking of all these natural resources remains one of the underlying causes of instability in Eastern DR-Congo and a curse for nature and people. — Diamonds and gold — vast natural resources… Read More

Park and Species Endangered: The Virunga Landscape in Danger

Extract from Global Witness last investigation on Uganda’s mining sector, a story on endemic corruption and mismanagement profiting at the expense of the Ugandan people, environment and economy. Almost half the world’s remaining mountain gorillas are at risk as mining threatens Bwindi and Rwenzori national parks, part of the famous Virunga ecosystem – this risks… Read More