December 2016: A Message from Environmental and Human Rights Groups From the Greater Virunga

Stop oil exploration and exploitation activities in the Greater Virunga and, end conflicts and bloodshed in the Albert basin communities OPEN LETTER BY ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS FROM THE GREATER VIRUNGA TO PRESIDENT JOSEPH KABILA OF DRC AND PRESIDENT YOWERI MUSEVENI OF UGANDA. Your Excellences, By this letter, we, environmental and Human Rights civil… Read More

Reasons Why we Should be Avoiding New Oil Exploration Frontiers: Virunga

Even though the planet is experiencing a climate crisis, the oil industry is expanding to new frontiers, with the majority of such frontiers being mature forests or very sensitive areas.  Currently the world’s oil reserves are 800 billion barrels. If these reserves are burned, more than 320 billion tons of additional co2 would be produced,… Read More

Why are Protected Areas so Unprotected? National parks must be for people, plants, wildlife – not Big Oil

Every day we hear that the integrity of a protected area is being challenged by the expansion of industrial activities such as oil, gas and mining exploration. Last year it was the turn of Manu National Park in Peru’s Amazon one of the most biodiverse places on Earth and home of several indigenous peoples – as… Read More

Reasons Why we Should be Avoiding New Oil Exploration Frontiers: Virunga

Even though the planet is experiencing a climate crisis, the oil industry is expanding to new frontiers, with the majority of such frontiers being mature forests or very sensitive areas.  Currently the world’s oil reserves are 800 billion barrels. If these reserves are burned, more than 320 billion tons of additional co2 would be produced,… Read More

Virunga: To Defend the Environment, We must Defend Human Rights

Friends of the Earth International The neoliberal model of ‘development’ is ravaging nature and pitting communities and eco-defenders against powerful corporations and colluding police and military forces. The violence must stop! Around the world, activists and communities are raising their voices to stop environmental devastation and promote the possibility of another world, where nature is… 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

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

Why are Protected Areas so Unprotected? Making a Deal for Virunga?

Every day we hear that the integrity of a protected area is being challenged by the expansion of industrial activities such as oil, gas and mining exploration. Last week it was the turn of Manu National Park in Peru’s Amazon one of the most biodiverse places on Earth and home of several indigenous peoples –… Read More

Oil Exploration in Virunga: a Fisherman’s tale, in which team are you?

Oil exploitation in Virunga’s block V is similar to the final of an important soccer game between the government with its petroleum allies, and the local communities that depend on inexhaustible natural resources and their supporters, civil society organizations working on the protection of the environment. Both teams have been trained to use the legal instruments that are at… Read More

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