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

Virunga Rangers: Last Wo-Men Standing and Upholding the Law

On average one Virunga National Park ranger is killed every month trying to protect the endangered animals living in this part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Poaching in central Africa has turned into a war in which heavily armed militia target elephants, rhinos and gorillas. The years of conflict have also added to the… Read More

The Guardian – ‘We know we may be killed’: The Rangers Risking their Lives for Virunga’s Gorillas

The huge national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most dangerous conservation projects in the world. But thanks to the efforts of a committed force of rangers, populations of endangered species are recovering and locals say the park offers hope for the whole region. Jason Burke in Virunga national park,… 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

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

Creating Hope: Development is Ending Wildlife Crime in Virunga

Read here UNEP’s blog where Emmanuel de Merode writes about the work being done in Virunga to end wildlife crime through development. In a seemingly dark and tumultuous world, I find the greatest beacon of hope here in the Virunga National Park, eastern Congo. Hope that, through the efforts of those working to protect the… Read More

1.000 Reasons Save Virunga: Congo’s Heritage

“The Congo is a land far away, yet our histories are so closely linked. We have thrived from a lopsided relationship, yet we are utterly blind to it. The price of that myopia has been human suffering on an unimaginable scale.” Dan Snow

Drilling Africa’s Great Lakes: No Virunga and No Planet B

Blocks off Africa’s coast have already been snapped up by exploration companies but what of East Africa’s enormous great lakes? With exploration well underway in Lake Albert and plans laid down for Lake Malawi, Philip Kleinfeld looks at the social, political and environmental challenges. Lake Albert Uganda Blocks off Africa’s coast have already been snapped… Read More

Safeguarding Virunga and Promoting the Realization of Human Rights Obligations go Hand-in-Hand

Read here the conclusions and recommendations from the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. In this report the Special Rapporteur, John H. Knox, describes the importance of ecosystem services and biodiversity for the full enjoyment of human rights and… Read More

Virunga National Park: When Deeds Say more than Words

Sometimes it seems easier to write about conflict, than to do something about ending it. Eastern DRC does not escape this fate, in the mist of conflict and the never ending power struggles it has become  a very prolific research ground for many. We all have something to say about DRC’s conflict, about its roots, consequences and its devastating… Read More

December 2016: A Message from Environmental and Human Rights Groups From the Greater Virunga

Stop oil exploration and exploitation activities in the Greater Virunga and, end conflicts and bloodshed in the Albert basin communities OPEN LETTER BY ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS FROM THE GREATER VIRUNGA TO PRESIDENT JOSEPH KABILA OF DRC AND PRESIDENT YOWERI MUSEVENI OF UGANDA. Your Excellences, By this letter, we, environmental and Human Rights civil… 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