1921: A Journey in the History of Virunga National Park #1

In the Footsteps of the Museum’s Virunga Gorillas* Carl E. Akeley was an American naturalist and explorer. Her was also known as Carl Ethan Akeley, born in May 19, 1864 in Clarendon, New York. He Died in November 17, 1926 in Virunga National Park, Belgian Congo. He was buried only a couple miles away from where he encountered his first gorilla in 1921 (1). … Read More

SOCO’s Interim Results 2014: Virunga Risky Business

On the 28th of August, oil company SOCO International Plc published its interim results for the half-year to 30th of June 2014. From this report it is clear that the focus of the company has been to continue delivering steady progress and growth, keeping revenue and cash flow strong and shareholders happy with a possible 22… Read More

Oil Companies, Spot the Difference: Who is Willing to take Unacceptable Shortcuts in Virunga?

Spot the Difference:  Who is Willing to take Unacceptable Shortcuts in Virunga? Extract from Bannon, Ian and Paul Collier book on Natural Resources and Violent Conflict: Options and Actions, “Chapter 8 –  Attracting Reputable Companies to Risky Environments: Petroleum and Mining Companies” . By John Bray Historically, junior companies have been more willing than major… Read More

Why is Biodiversity Important for the Future of North Kivu?

The links between biodiversity and poverty Poor people, especially those living in areas with low agricultural productivity, depend heavily and directly on genetic, species and ecosystem biodiversity to support their livelihoods. This support takes the shape of contributions to health and nutrition, reduced vulnerability, crop and stock development, and off-farm resource use. However, their livelihood… Read More

OIL IN AFRICA PART TWO: Can DR-Congo avoid the Libyan Revolution?

Since the 1970’s resource rich countries in the developing world have consistently underperformed resource poor countries when it comes to economic growth, income inequality and good governance. What if the best and only solution will be to: KEEP THE OIL IN THE SOIL? Looking back at 2013-2016 (SV) OPTION A Extract from the AfDB report:… Read More

The Last Stand of the Gorilla – Environmental Crime, Conflict …. and what about Oil?

Gorillas, the largest of the great apes, are under renewed threat across the Congo Basin from Nigeria to the Albertine Rift: poaching for bushmeat, loss of habitat due to agricultural expansion, degradation of habitat from logging, mining and charcoal production are amongst these threats, in addition to natural epidemics such as ebola and the new… Read More

Oil exploration in Virunga: Belgian Parliament versus SOCO UK

Response of Georges Dallemagne, Belgian member of the parliament, to the letter he received from Mr Cagle _ vice-president of the UK oil company SOCO International plc_ following his Parliamentary Resolution to protect Virunga national park.  Mr Cagle’s Letter:  Téléchargement 2012 1129 SOCO International plc – Georges Dallemagne Mr Dallemagne’s Response (unofficial translation): Dear Mr… Read More

Global Witness: Congolese oil blocks raises further Corruption Concerns

News over ownership of Congolese oil blocks raises further corruption concerns 29th June 2012 The Financial Times has reported that Dan Gertler, a businessman close to the Congolese president, is one of the main partners in two offshore companies that obtained oil blocks in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo in controversial circumstances. The article, published… Read More

NOV 2012: Black Gold in Congo: a Photo Essay about Oil threat in a War-torn Country

Jan-Joseph Stok – Photo Essay – Black Gold in Congo Congo being one of the richest country in the World for it’s natural resources, has faced intensive conflicts for the last decade. It’s minerals are it’s curse. Oil exploration in the DR Congo is a new threat to the stability of a War-torn country. M23 rebels… Read More