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 #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

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

Virunga and Africa: Biodiversity and Nature’s Contributions Continue Dangerous Decline, Scientists Warn

Human well-being at risk. Landmark reports highlight options to protect and restore nature and its vital contributions to people Biodiversity – the essential variety of life forms on Earth – continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature’s capacity to contribute to people’s well-being. This alarming trend endangers economies, livelihoods, food… Read More

1.000 Reasons to Save Virunga: Home to Unparalleled Biodiversity

Virunga, which was designated a World Heritage Center in 1979, has earned a reputation as one of the most dangerous national parks in Africa. It is home to unparalleled biodiversity, including lions, elephants, and the rare mountain gorillas, which have been threatened by habitat loss from farming and unrest stemming from DRC’s two civil wars—one… Read More

DRC: Oil Exploitation Threatens Virunga and Salonga Parks

A petition gathering more than 23,000 signatures opposes the exploitation of oil in Virunga and Salonga parks. Communities bordering Virunga Park continue to raise awareness about any oil exploitation initiative in this UNESCO World Heritage Park. Already in September 2018, they had sent to the Presidency of the Republic, a petition signed by over 23,000… Read More

Virunga: Oil Exploitation, A Risk for Local Communities

By Esther Nsapu, correspondent in Eastern DRC In a consortium in Goma, seven environmental civil society organizations from the North Kivu province called “Alliance for Green Livelihoods” (GLA) are protesting against the proposal of the Minister of Hydrocarbons, to decommission some of the Virunga and Salonga National Parks to conduct oil exploration and exploitation. The… Read More