June 17, 38th Session World Heritage Committee: Virunga’s Next Battlefield

The 38th session of the World Heritage Committee threatens to become the next major battle for Virunga’s survival. As DRC Member of the parliament, Francois Nzekuye explains the oil company SOCO has only committed to wait for drilling in Virunga until the UNESCO and the DRC government agree that such activities are not incompatible with its… 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

March 06: Joint Declaration EU Commissioner Piebalgs and Belgian Minister Labille on SOCO’s activities in Virunga

European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, together with the Belgian Minister for International Cooperation, Jean-Pascal Labille, urge SOCO’s shareholders and all relevant authorities to make sure that oil company SOCO International Plc respects international laws and regulations and is in compliance with all of the required standards considering its oil exploration activities in a World… Read More

10 FEB, 2014 – Oil Exploration Project in Virunga: Threats Against Civil Society in North-Kivu

Urgent Appeal No. 01/OSC/ENV/2014. Oil exploration and exploitation project in Virunga National park: Threats against civil society in North-Kivu. Civil Society focusing on environmental issues in North-Kivu is highly concerned about the security situation of its members in North-Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. In fact, the end of January and the beginning of February 2014… Read More

3 FEB, 2014: IUCN welcomes Total’s ‘no-go’ commitment and calls other companies to follow suit

IUCN welcomes Total’s ‘no-go’ commitment in World Heritage sites 03 February 2014 | International news release Oil and gas company Total has confirmed that it will not carry out extractive operations within natural World Heritage sites, including Virunga National Park. IUCN welcomes this decision and calls on all oil and gas companies to follow suit.… Read More

Virunga: Chronicle of a Betrayal Foretold

Unofficial translation of the excellent article of DRC blogger Jean-Baptiste Badesire: A  reflection on oil exploration and exploitation in Virunga National Park, and how the Congolese authorities choose the easy money at the expense of the sustainable development and social peace in North Kivu. READ HERE THE (ORIGINAL) FRENCH VERSION This Friday, January 31, 2014… Read More

Jan 24th: GOOD NEWS, Congo’s Decision to Suspend Passage of Oil Bill through Parliament

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cabreraletelier/3717642877/sizes/m/ Lire en français Congo has suspended the passage of a controversial oil bill through parliament, in order to allow more time for consultation. It has been criticised by MPs in Congo, donor governments, UNESCO and campaigners, including Global Witness, for failing to include strong anti-corruption or environmental protection measures. “The decision to suspend the… Read More

SOCO starting seismic survey in Virunga before the findings of the EU-funded SEA?

This month’s article in Africa Intelligence “Virunga a hot issue”  reveals that it won’t be until November 2014 that the findings of the second phase of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), funded by the European Union, will be handed out to the  Ministry of Hydrocarbon in DR-Congo. The SEA will be used to inform DRC Government… Read More

JAN 2014 – Last Chance to Fix DRC Oil Bill: Critics Raise Transparency and Environment Worries

Global Witness Announces Last Chance to Fix DRC Oil Bill… 14th January 2014 The Democratic Republic of Congo’s lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, has begun to debate a new oil bill which has been criticised by campaigners, MPs in Congo and donor governments. Global Witness is extremely concerned that the weak provisions of… Read More

Save Virunga Rewind 2013

Save Virunga is a global initiative to protect Virunga, Africa’s Oldest National Park, from oil exploration and exploitation. These are the moments and most pressing issues that defined Save Virunga in 2013. 2014: Preserving Virunga National Park will bring sustainable development, peace and stability in the conflict affected areas of Eastern DR-Congo. Governments, Businesses and… Read More

DEC 2013: We, Local Chiefs urge SOCO’s Activities to be Stopped in Virunga National Park!

We, people of Congo, urge SOCO’s Activities to be Stopped in Virunga ! We, local chiefs, representatives of fishermen, ship-owners, women’s groups, students, representatives of small and medium enterprises, environmental civil society and human rights defenders and local leaders urge DRC government: To call upon the oil company SOCO to stop using security services and… Read More

Hot off the Press, October 14th: Congo’s Virunga National Park Announces Partnership For Economic Revival In War-Torn Eastern Province

Rumangabo, DR Congo — After almost twenty years of armed conflict in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Virunga National Park today released the details of a 10-year plan to re-invigorate the local economy and create tens of thousands of new jobs as a peace-building initiative in the conflict affected areas of eastern… Read More