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

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

WARNING: The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court v. Mr. X for Opening Oil Exploration in the Greater Virunga Landscape

Be warned. Since the 15th of September of 2016 the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague will start prosecuting people, such as company executives and politicians that commit crimes against the environment. Environmental crimes such as environmental destruction, pollution of water sources, illegal exploitation of natural resources and land grabbing will now be considered… Read More

Water is Life: Virunga’s Lake Edward Should Receive the Same Protection as the Mountain Gorillas

When protecting Virunga much focus has been put on its immense biodiversity and on being the home to the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas. Virunga was established in 1925 as Africa’s very first national park but is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Ramsar Site. Virunga’s Lake Edward lies completely within Virunga National… Read More

Great Lakes NGOs call on Uganda and DRC Presidents to Stop Oil Projects in Protected Areas in Greater Virunga

Global Rights Alert and 28 of her partners have written to Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Joseph Kabila of Democratic Republic of Congo calling on the two leaders to stop any planned oil projects on Lake Edward. The 2,325 square kilometre lake located in the Albertine Rift Valley is shared by both countries. GRA wants Presidents Museveni and… Read More

Presidents Museveni and Kabila meet in Uganda: Have oil permits granted within Virunga Greater Landscape been cancelled?

On the 4th of August Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and Democratic Republic of Congo’s Joseph Kabila held a one-day summit in Uganda. During the summit the media reports that both presidents agreed on: “matters of security, electricity extension to the DRC, petroleum, oil pipeline, bridge and border survey. The summit agreed that during the oil exploration period… Read More

Virunga National Park shares a Spotlight: The Fishing Village of Vitshumbi

There is an inextricable link between the fisheries of Lake Edward, the well-being of the local population, and Virunga National Park itself. The Virunga Alliance is doing it’s best to serve all parties in this tightly-knit web of life on Lake Edward. On the road from park HQ in Rumangabo to Vitshumbi… By Evelyne Malfliet… Read More

Virunga Lake Edward’s Blue Potential: a Real Alternative to Oil

A Real Alternative to Oil: Lake Edward’s sustainable Fisheries Lake Edward is one of the many lakes in Central Africa’s Rift valley. Its waters spread across the neighboring countries in the region. The Lake is fully enclosed in Virunga National Park (Virunga), which is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and in Queen… Read More

Save Virunga’s Hippos from the Devastating Effects BP-oil Spill is having on Dolphins

This week Mongabay reported on the results of a new study that shows how exposure to the 2010 BP oil spill is likely to have caused late-term abortions of in-utero dolphins, or early death of newborns. These new findings add to the mounting evidence that exposure to petroleum compounds following an oil spill can severely… Read More

Global Witness welcomes the European Parliament’s resolution on the protection of the Virunga

Africa’s oldest and most bio-diverse national park – under threat from oil. Global Witness welcomes the European Parliament’s resolution on the protection of the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which calls for EU Member States to help prevent oil activities in the Park and neighbouring areas. It also calls on… Read More

Commemorating Real Actors of Change: From Dian Fossey to Local Communities

  What makes these pictures so powerful is that these women are not so different from one another. One dedicated more than 18 year of her life to the protection and study of the Gorillas in the Virunga Mountains; the others are Congolese women, mothers that decided to voice their concerns about oil exploration in… Read More

How do we keep Virunga Safe? Listen to Communities and Avoid Manipulations

Keeping the Focus During the past week much attention went to the renewed danger to Virunga National Park coming from oil exploitation.  The DRC government officially announced presence of oil in Block V and an oil bidding process in Uganda was opened in a block that not only borders Virunga National park but also includes the Ugandan… Read More