Virunga: Oil Exploitation, A Risk for Local Communities

By Esther Nsapu, correspondent in Eastern DRC In a consortium in Goma, seven environmental civil society organizations from the North Kivu province called “Alliance for Green Livelihoods” (GLA) are protesting against the proposal of the Minister of Hydrocarbons, to decommission some of the Virunga and Salonga National Parks to conduct oil exploration and exploitation. The… Read More

National Geographic and Virunga: Inside the Fight to Save One of the World’s Most Dangerous Parks

Virunga, one of the wonders of Africa, is home to rare gorillas—and plagued by violence and economic tension. BY ROBERT DRAPER PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRENT STIRTON This story appears in the July 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine. When the ranger studied the ragtag crew he was supervising, seven young men repairing a rugged road that… Read More

Fishers Unite: Fish not Oil in Virunga and Lake Edward

Fishers Unite! All Pictures from Enanga.org It is abnormal for a fisher or fishing community to depend on imported fish for protein. It is an unhappy situation when an experienced fisherman returns from a fishing trip with only flotsam or other debris, including plastics, in the nets. Unfortunately, this is the reality facing fishers in… Read More

The Curse of Oil : Lessons for Virunga, Leave the Oil in the Soil

The problem, in a nutshell, is that for fifty years, foreign oil companies have conducted some of the world’s most sophisticated exploration and production operations, using millions of dollars’ worth of imported ultramodern equipment, against a backdrop of Stone Age squalor. They have extracted hundreds of millions of barrels of oil, which have sold on… Read More

Virunga: Can Environmental Damage by Oil Exploration be Prosecuted as a Crime under International Law? 

This week was marked by the announcement by Global Witness that “the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government is attempting to reclassify swathes of two UNESCO-protected World Heritage Sites –Salonga and Virunga National Parks – to allow oil exploration to take place”. At the same time the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, was concluding… 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

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