Ahead of COP21: Conservation Alone is not Enough for Virunga

Ahead of the COP21 , this was in 2007, Dr Richard Leakey argued that conservation alone could not save threatened species such as the mountain gorilla. He called for action on humans’ needs as well, and the fight against global warming. JULY 2007 “Millions of people were horrified by the recent slaughter of mountain gorillas that dominated… Read More

How do we keep Virunga Safe? Listen to Communities and Avoid Manipulations

Keeping the Focus During the past week much attention went to the renewed danger to Virunga National Park coming from oil exploitation.  The DRC government officially announced presence of oil in Block V and an oil bidding process in Uganda was opened in a block that not only borders Virunga National park but also includes the Ugandan… Read More

JUN 2015: Global Witness: UK Oil Company Bankrolled Soldiers Accused of Bribery and Violence Against Oil Opponents

AGM scandal for British company at centre of Leonardo DiCaprio-backed Oscar-nominated film. Cheques and receipts revealed by Global Witness show oil company Soco International paid over $40,000 in just two weeks to Congolese military officer accused of bribery and violence. Officer and his soldiers implicated in bribing, intimidating and even killing Soco opponents. Company dogged… Read More

A Message to Shareholders Willing to Finance Oil Exploitation in Virunga – DRC

MSF-Photo: Colin Delfosse – A resident of Rubaya camp in Masisi, North Kivu, looks out over the makeshift tents.  When investing in Oil be aware that you are also contributing: 1. To finance massacres, conflicts and inter-ethnic wars, low intensity warfare originated in the oil exploitation; 2. To expel populations from oil areas (from families… Read More

Congolese People Fight for the Survival of Virunga: A Local Perspective

“Oil: the fossil fuel responsible for the dispute over Virunga National Park in Congo” By Jakub Szweda Congolese people fight for their stability and food security after prospecting search for oil by a British company.  SOCO International, in 2007, has signed a production-sharing contract for Block 5 Albertine Grahen, permitting them to enter over a half of… Read More

IPhones, Gorillas and Oil: How can Congolese benefit from Virunga?

Excellent article of Jake Flanagin (@JakeFlanagin):  A  reflection on how  your fair trade iPhone won’t save the Congo, but going on safari might… Your iPhone is, first and foremost, a phone. It is also an Internet browser, a personal calendar, a memo pad, an MP3 player, a gaming console, a weather forecaster, and much more.… Read More

Exploitation of Non-Renewable Resources Key Driver of Conflict: Virunga is the Solution

The exploitation of natural resources has proven to be a major driver of conflict in DRC and the Great Lakes region. Oil exploration in Virunga has followed the same track with a poor local engagement, the total exclusion of communities from decision making and the criminalization of local protests against oil.  In light of the… Read More

Women, Natural Resources and Peacebuilding in Virunga

In “Women Empowerment, Fisheries and Sustainable Development in Virunga”  we have seen how  important Lake Edward is for the empowerment and emancipation of women in the Great Lakes region. In this article based on the excerpt of the UN report on  Women and Natural Resources: Unlocking the PeaceBuilding Potential we focus on the relationship between women and natural resources in… Read More

Protecting Virunga, Livelihood Security and Conflict Prevention

Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai speaks on the relationship between scarce natural resources and global conflict. The following insight from the platform for exchange on Environment, Conflict and Cooperation (ECC) highlights the importance of nature protection in securing vital livelihoods and supporting the reduction of conflicts. One more piece of evidence that protecting Virunga and its vital ecosystems will contribute to livelihood… Read More

Save Virunga: Is Virunga Saved?

“Virunga National Park’s conservationists and activists are celebrating a victory today after British oil company SOCO International plc (SOCO) agreed to end its controversial operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). But the devil is in the details and many believe the war against drilling for oil in Africa’s oldest national park has just… Read More

4 June HRW: DR-Congo Investigate Attacks On Virunga Oil Project Critics – They Need Protection

(Kinshasa) – Democratic Republic of Congo authorities should fully and impartially investigate threats and violence against Virunga National Park rangers and local activists, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should examine whether the incidents are linked to plans to explore for oil within and near Virunga Park by SOCO International, a British oil company operating in… Read More

Virunga Movie: Is the incredible true story of a group of brave people…

VIRUNGA IS THE INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY OF A GROUP OF BRAVE PEOPLE RISKING THEIR LIVES TO BUILD A BETTER FUTURE IN A PART OF AFRICA THE WORLD HAS FORGOTTEN AND A GRIPPING EXPOSE OF THE REALITIES OF LIFE IN THE CONGO. In the forested depths of eastern Congo lies Virunga National Park, one of the… Read More