Virunga Human Rights Day: We Stand up for our Rights and the Right of a Healthy Environment

“I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses. We must never forget that it is our duty to protect this environment.” — Nelson Mandela. On December 10th  we commemorate  Human Rights Day, the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This… Read More

Virunga and Africa: Biodiversity and Nature’s Contributions Continue Dangerous Decline, Scientists Warn

Human well-being at risk. Landmark reports highlight options to protect and restore nature and its vital contributions to people Biodiversity – the essential variety of life forms on Earth – continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature’s capacity to contribute to people’s well-being. This alarming trend endangers economies, livelihoods, food… Read More

DRC: Oil Exploitation Threatens Virunga and Salonga Parks

A petition gathering more than 23,000 signatures opposes the exploitation of oil in Virunga and Salonga parks. Communities bordering Virunga Park continue to raise awareness about any oil exploitation initiative in this UNESCO World Heritage Park. Already in September 2018, they had sent to the Presidency of the Republic, a petition signed by over 23,000… Read More

Good News for Virunga: UN moves towards Recognising Human Right to a Healthy Environment

Formal recognition would help protect those who increasingly risk their lives to defend the land, water, forests and wildlife, says the UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment. By Jonathan Watts Global environment editor It is time for the United Nations to formally recognise the right to a healthy environment, according to the… 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

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

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 Congratulates The Water Protectors Standing Rock Sioux Tribe – NoDAPL

Statement on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Decision to Not Grant Easement Cannon Ball, N.D.— The department of the Army will not approve an easement that will allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The following statement was released by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II. “Today, the U.S.… Read More

Virunga ready to Rumble for #MuhammadAli, The Greatest

Crucial to Ali’s connection to civil rights workers was their shared sense of urgency. Activists who were putting everything on the line, including their lives, could relate to Ali, who risked just about everything he had when he refused to be drafted into the Vietnam War. As Mississippi organiser Lawrence Guyot put it: “We were… Read More

Campaigners in Virunga urge UK’s SFO to take allegations against SOCO seriously

Local campaigners in Virunga urge UK’s Serious Fraude Office to  take the allegations against the company SOCO seriously in order to protect local communities and save Virunga National Park. Local campaigners in Virunga, some of whom have suffered intimidation and scare tactics in the course of their activism protecting the national park, wrote to Clifford Chance to… Read More

Oil in Virunga: A Violence Done Against its People

Africa gives the image of a continent with a growing marginalization in the world trade markets; with the exception of the exploitation of some mineral resources such as: bauxite, uranium, gold and most notably oil. Today, the oil wealth feeds states like Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, Congo, and Cameroon. In other states, Sudan, Mali, Chad,… Read More

FEB 2015: Church of Engeland Joins Virunga Communities and asks Independent Inquiry of Soco’s operations

Move follows film backed by Leonardo DiCaprio and pleas by local NGOs, environmentalists, transparency campaigners and members of the UK Parliament to protect Congo’s Virunga park. The church – led by archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, a former oil executive – has said that it may sell its near £3m stake in Soco International unless… Read More