Global Witness welcomes Church of England’s decision to divest £1.6 million holding in Soco

Soco has also so far failed to commit in writing to UNESCO that it will not, under any circumstances, explore or drill for oil inside Virunga’s current boundaries. On 30 June, at the UNESCO World Heritage in Bonn, Germany, delegates voted to adopt a draft resolution on Virunga reiterating that oil exploration is incompatible with… Read More

JUN 2015: Global Witness: UK Oil Company Bankrolled Soldiers Accused of Bribery and Violence Against Oil Opponents

AGM scandal for British company at centre of Leonardo DiCaprio-backed Oscar-nominated film. Cheques and receipts revealed by Global Witness show oil company Soco International paid over $40,000 in just two weeks to Congolese military officer accused of bribery and violence. Officer and his soldiers implicated in bribing, intimidating and even killing Soco opponents. Company dogged… Read More

IUCN: Natural World Heritages like Virunga play life-supporting rol in Economy and Communities

New study by IUCN released at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress shows life-supporting role of Natural Heritages. Natural World Heritage sites are not just iconic places with exceptional nature, they also provide benefits that contribute to economies, climate stability and human well-being.  The report highlights the economic benefits and cost-effectiveness of preserving the exceptional World Heritage… Read More

Reasons why we should chose for Environmental Peace Buidling in Virunga

“Where environment and natural resource factors generate conflict, post-conflict peacebuilding efforts must tackle them directly in order to achieve durable peace. At the same time, the recognition that environmental and natural resources can contribute to violent conflict only underscores their potential significance as a pathway for cooperation and confidence-building in war-torn societies.” United Nations Environment Program… Read More

Women, Natural Resources and Peacebuilding in Virunga

In “Women Empowerment, Fisheries and Sustainable Development in Virunga”  we have seen how  important Lake Edward is for the empowerment and emancipation of women in the Great Lakes region. In this article based on the excerpt of the UN report on  Women and Natural Resources: Unlocking the PeaceBuilding Potential we focus on the relationship between women and natural resources in… Read More

Women Empowerment, Fisheries and Sustainable Development in Virunga

The fisheries of Lake Edward in Virunga National Park make a substantial contribution to poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth within Eastern DRC. Over 50.000 people are supported by the fisheries; it creates jobs, provides an important supply of affordable protein to the Kivu’s, and makes a significant contribution to food security in the Congo.… Read More

SEPT 4, 2014: Global Witness investigates SOCO’s Oil Exploration Activities in Virunga

‘Drillers in the mist’: How secret payments and a climate of violence helped UK firm open African national park to oil British oil company Soco Internationaland its contractors havemade illicit payments, appear to have paid off armed rebels and benefited from fear and violence fostered by government security forces in eastern Congo, as they sought… Read More

Pandora’s Box: SOCO Oil Company ruining for Virunga’s Natural Resources

Virunga, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, is Africa’s oldest national park, and home to half the continent’s endangered mountain gorillas. It is one of the world’s great heritage sites with three thousand square miles of precious flora and fauna. Since 2010, the British firm SOCO International has been exploring the region for… 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

Monbiot: Drilling in Virunga does not end our hunger for resources, it exacerbates it!

The Impossibility of Growth: Why collapse and salvation are hard to distinguish from each other By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 28th May 2014 Let us imagine that in 3030BC the total possessions of the people of Egypt filled one cubic metre. Let us propose that these possessions grew by 4.5% a year. How big… Read More

The Treasure of Virunga…De Merode’s ‘crazy’ plan…he lives and so does his plan!

Unauthorized translation from the article „Der Schatz von Virunga“ by Juliane von Mittelstaedt, published in Der Spiegel 17/19.4.2014. Translation by Angela Roemelt. Only the German original is valid for quotation. They never met but they compete against each other. One of fighting for a treasure above the soil, the other one for those beneath it.… 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