Virunga and Salonga are Now Open for Oil Drilling – Why You Should Care?

Two of the World’s Most Biodiverse Wildlife Parks are Now Open for Oil Drilling – Why You Should Care In late June 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) government voted to open up two of the country’s national parks to oil exploration. Because the decision will put wildlife at risk and pump high amounts… Read More

Virunga Environmental Defenders Question Felix Tshisekedi on the Protection of National Parks

The Synergy of Ecologists for Peace and Development calls on DRC’s new president to protect the country’s national parks against oil exploitation projects and security threats. This platform, that  brings together a dozen of environmental organisations from North Kivu, launched this call through an open letter addressed to President Felix Tshisekedi on Friday, January 25. Virunga… 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 #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

BREAKING: Virunga Communities Ask DRC President Kabila to Stop Oil Exploitation in Iconic National Parks

The communities bordering Virunga National Park (North Kivu) presented on Wednesday, September 26, in Kinshasa, a collective petition addressed to President Joseph Kabila to say “no to any initiative to degazette national parks Virunga and Salonga or decommission one of their areas to accommodate oil exploitation to the detriment of humanity and the local communities… Read More

Virunga and Future Generations: Around the World Kids and Adults Stand Up for The Environment

Legal fights, especially the ones that drag out for a long time, are lead to citizens getting proper access to their rights. As the battles gain popularity and support over time, they build up steam and find ways to carry on until their voices are truly heard and laws change. In a similar way to… Read More

The Curse of Oil : Lessons for Virunga, Leave the Oil in the Soil

The problem, in a nutshell, is that for fifty years, foreign oil companies have conducted some of the world’s most sophisticated exploration and production operations, using millions of dollars’ worth of imported ultramodern equipment, against a backdrop of Stone Age squalor. They have extracted hundreds of millions of barrels of oil, which have sold on… Read More

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

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

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