CSOs Say NO to Oil in DRC’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites Virunga and Salonga

DRC Civil Society united to protect Virunga and Salonga National park. These two UNESCO World Heritage Natural Sites represent an outstanding universal value and any project of partial disaffection could be considered as an inhuman act intentionally causing great suffering to the thousands of local communities and indigenous peoples who depend on these exceptional values… Read More

Virunga: Can Environmental Damage by Oil Exploration be Prosecuted as a Crime under International Law? 

This week was marked by the announcement by Global Witness that “the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government is attempting to reclassify swathes of two UNESCO-protected World Heritage Sites –Salonga and Virunga National Parks – to allow oil exploration to take place”. At the same time the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, was concluding… Read More

Virunga: Preserving Africa’s National Parks through People-Centred Development

Home to rare and endangered species, the Congo’s national parks are also sites of human conflict. Without addressing the material drivers behind ecological degradation, conservation risks a losing battle. For Virunga, this was not an option– as Africa’s oldest national park, tackling socio-economic challenges facing local populations was a necessity in preserving its natural heritage.… Read More

1.000 Reasons Save Virunga: Gorilla babies, babies, and more babies…

Virunga’s rangers couldn’t be happier with the way 2018 has begun. The first of seven births happened on January 7th, when Sebutimbiri of the Mapuwa family gave birth to a boy. Several days later four more babies were born within five days of each other. With January in the books, rangers understandably thought they had… Read More

Reasons Why we Should be Avoiding New Oil Exploration Frontiers: Virunga

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

Virunga In 2018: There Are Thousands of Bertas Worldwide!

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 the fight to defend nature To my mother To the Lenca People   Berta Cáceres acceptance speech for the 2015 Goldman… Read More

Virunga New Year’s Resolution: We won’t Sacrifice Protected Areas and Sacred Sites to Extractive Industries and Human Greed.

When Save Virunga started more than 6 years ago our aim was simple: to give a voice to local communities who depend on the survival of Virunga National Park for their livelihoods and to protect Africa’s oldest National Park from oil extraction. We believed that Virunga should be a place where no oil extraction and pollution occurs, a… 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

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 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

Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo, Virunga Ranger, wins Goldman Environmental Prize for Defending Congo’s Wildlife

Putting his life on the line, Rodrigue Katembo went undercover to document and release information about bribery and corruption in the quest to drill for oil in Virunga National Park, resulting in public outrage that forced the company to withdraw from the project. Rich in resources, mired by conflicts A former Belgian colony, the Democratic… Read More