Good News For Virunga: Mountain Gorilla Numbers Surpass 1.000

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Rwanda, and Republic of Uganda release new census results. Rubavu, Rwanda, 31 May 2018 A recent survey documented 604 mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), the largest number of mountain gorillas ever recorded in the transboundary Virunga Massif, one of the two remaining areas where this Critically… 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

1.000 Reasons Save Virunga: Gorilla babies, babies, and more babies…

Virunga’s rangers couldn’t be happier with the way 2018 has begun. The first of seven births happened on January 7th, when Sebutimbiri of the Mapuwa family gave birth to a boy. Several days later four more babies were born within five days of each other. With January in the books, rangers understandably thought they had… 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

Conserving Virunga For and With Congolese is the most Challenging Job in Conservation

The following excerpt is based on an old ‘revised’ guest blog by Esther Marijnen, Blaise Muhire and Judith Vermeijden. It looks into the challenges of conservation amidst conflict, violence and poverty in Eastern DRC and more particularly within and around Virunga National Park. It reminds us an important lesson about conservation: Conserving Virunga For and With Congolese… Read More

1.000 Reasons Save Virunga: #35 Tourism Revival

Le Parc national des Virunga , anciennement appelé Parc national Albert, est un 7800 kilomètres carrés (3000 km ²) parc national qui s’étend des montagnes des Virunga dans le sud, dans les montagnes de Rwenzori dans le Nord , en République démocratique du Congo, en bordure du parc national des volcans au Rwanda et le… Read More

Message 11 SOCO ends Seismic in Virunga: Fear Prevails

Following the agreement made between SOCO International and WWF on June 10th to cease all operations of oil exploration in Virunga National Park, on the 21st of June a ceremony was held in Nyakakoma marking the closing of the seismic operations conducted by the oil company  in North Kivu. Different personalities were present during this… Read More

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

Who wants to turn Virunga National Park into an oil drilling site?

Insightful and excellent article of DRC blogger Chantal Faida Mulenga – Byuma. Her blog can be consulted at http://chantalfaida.blogspot.fr. Chantal reflects on the green potential of Virunga, the promises made, the position of local communities as well as of DRC government, and what will be the future of the park. Unofficial translation. — Established in… Read More

3# NO TO OIL, STOP THE THREATS: Open letter to the General Director of the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature

Open letter the General Director of the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN) 15-11-2013 On the 27th of December 2013, SOCO was pleased to announce that “ICCN, the organisation that manages the Virunga National Park, has reported to SOCO that it has received widespread support for SOCO’s activities on Block V in eastern DRC.”1 The… Read More

Virunga’s Future: The Congolese Park is at a Crossroads…

Video: ecotourism provides alternative to oil exploration in Virunga Virunga National Park in DR Congo is at a crossroads: should the Congolese people choose to invest in sustainable development, or in oil exploration? In a newly launched video, produced by IUCN NL, local communities and park management weigh the pros and cons.   . Emmanuel… Read More