Why is Effective Environmental Protection and the Rule of Law Important to Preserve Virunga?

Strengthening the rule of law is critical to protecting environmental, social, and cultural values and to achieving ecologically sustainable development.  Without the environmental rule of law and the enforcement of legal rights and obligations, environmental governance, conservation, and protection may be arbitrary, subjective, and unpredictable.  The environmental rule of law and robust institutions are essential… Read More

DRC Civil Society Conservation Review: Urgent Actions Needed to Save Virunga National Park in 2019

As we begin the new year of 2019, we, the member organizations of the Synergy of Ecologists for Peace and Development, regret to draw a mixed assessment for the conservation of Virunga National Park during the year 2018. Indeed, the good news is that with the combined efforts of local communities – governmental conservation institutions… Read More

2019 Virunga Resolution #5 : Defending Virunga, Salonga and Any Other Endangered Area from Oil Exploration

Even though the planet is experiencing a climate crisis, the oil industry is expanding to new frontiers, with the majority of such frontiers being mature forests or very sensitive areas.  Currently the world’s oil reserves are 800 billion barrels. If these reserves are burned, more than 320 billion tons of additional co2 would be produced,… Read More

2019 Virunga Resolution #4 : Protecting Environmental Rights Defenders in Their Work

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has experienced significant conflict, including long spates of civil war (1996-2003) also involving neighbouring States, and political and ethnic conflict regionally which continues today. The ongoing conflict has led to the mass internal displacement of over 4.5 million people, predominantly from the Kasaï, Tanganyika and Kivu regions, with… Read More

2019 Virunga Resolution #3 : Growing Courageous Leaders for the Future, The Determined Hummingbird 

Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan activist and first environmentalist to win a Nobel Peace Prize, liked to tell a story about a determined hummingbird:  ‘A huge wildfire consumed the forest where the hummingbird lived, and as the fire raged, all the animals left the forest and stood watching, transfixed and overwhelmed. They all felt so overwhelmed… Read More

2019 Virunga Resolution #2 : A Message to Humanity from Koko The Gorilla. Time hurry! Fix Earth!

“I am gorilla… I am flowers, animals. I am nature. Man Koko love. Earth Koko love. But man stupid… Stupid! Koko sorry. Koko cry. Time hurry! Fix Earth! Help Earth! Hurry! Protect Earth… Nature see you. Thank you.” In memory of Koko  (1971 – 2018) More ate : Buzzworthy Disclaimer Koko was invited to represent… Read More

2019 Virunga Resolution #1 : We are not alone. Long live the Congo! Long live Africa!

Below is Patrice Lumumba’s* Letter to his wife Pauline Lumumba in 1960 before he was assassinated. My beloved companion, I write you these words not knowing whether you will receive them, when you will receive them, and whether I will still be alive when you read them. Throughout my struggle for the independence of my country, I have never… Read More

Save Virunga 2018 Rewind: Fight For a Better Planet

Our Mother Earth: militarized, fenced-in, and poisoned, A place where basic rights Are systematically violated, Demands that we take action I dedicate this award to all forms of rebellion And to all the martyrs in the fight to defend nature Berta Cáceres In 2019 help us spread the word and support the DRC Government to make the… Read More

To Virunga and All of Us: A Message of Indigenous Resistance and Inspiration From the Amazon

This is what it is all about… Our fight is not just a fight about oil — it’s a fight about a different way of living by Nemonte Nenquimo The following piece is quoted directly from the keynote address of Ceibo Alliance co-founder Nemonte Nenquimo, who traveled from her home in the remote Ecuadorian Amazon to… Read More

Virunga Human Rights Day: We Stand up for our Rights and the Right of a Healthy Environment

“I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses. We must never forget that it is our duty to protect this environment.” — Nelson Mandela. On December 10th  we commemorate  Human Rights Day, the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This… Read More

Preparing for the DRC Elections: What is Going to Happen to Virunga?

A few weeks away from the presidential elections, the electoral campaign promises have already started taking its toll on Virunga National Park. Since the beginning of the launch of the campaign, environmental activists have been warning political actors to avoid campaign messages that may incite people to the destruction of Virunga National Park (1). Unfortunately,… Read More

Capitalism is Killing the World’s Wildlife Populations and Places like Virunga, not ‘humanity’

The latest Living Planet report from the WWF makes for grim reading: a 60% decline in wild animal populations since 1970, collapsing ecosystems, and a distinct possibility that the human species will not be far behind. The report repeatedly stresses that humanity’s consumption is to blame for this mass extinction, and journalists have been quick… Read More