NOV 2014: Sir David Attenborough facing new battle to save Virunga Gorillas

Sir David Attenborough facing new battle to save the gorillas: An oil company’s alleged interest in primates’ habitat sparks outrage  An oil company’s alleged interest in primates’ habitat sparks outrage JAMIE MERRILL   . It is more than 35 years since Sir David Attenborough was memorably prodded, poked and groomed by rare African mountain gorillas in front… Read More

Exploitation of Non-Renewable Resources Key Driver of Conflict: Virunga is the Solution

The exploitation of natural resources has proven to be a major driver of conflict in DRC and the Great Lakes region. Oil exploration in Virunga has followed the same track with a poor local engagement, the total exclusion of communities from decision making and the criminalization of local protests against oil.  In light of the… Read More

Fighting for Virunga is about Preventing Future Violence

Must read post by DigitalDjeli. In-depth analysis on how the battle for oil in Virunga National Park is not just about conservation but also about preventing conflict in the Great Lakes region. The World Wildlife Fund recently announced a victory in the fight to prevent British oil company Soco from drilling in Congo’s Virunga National Park after an… 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

Is There a Tomorrow ? Infinite Economic Growth and The Future of Our Planet

MUST SEE – There’s No Tomorrow is a half-hour animated documentary, from Dermot O’ Connor about resource depletion, energy and the impossibility of infinite growth on a finite planet. This movie is not about peak oil or energy per se, but an attack on exponential economic Growth. Inspired by the pro-capitalist cartoons of the 1940s, the film is… Read More

The Thin line Between Conservation and Extraction: Learning from Uganda’s case

Government, investors and host communities have to make a choice between sustaining sacred natural sites and territories, water and communities’ food sovereignty; or sacrificing them in favour of short-term benefits from mining and extractive activities, says a new report by the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) and the Gaia Foundation. The choice is stark:… 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

Will our insatiable appetite for energy leave us with a planet bereft of remote places and wild creatures?

Amanda Jones Rich oil reserves in Congo’s Virunga National Park could put mountain gorillas at risk The world’s only gorilla orphanage is in Virunga National Park, Congo A healthy tourism economy could help mountain gorillas in Congo The nearly 2 million acres in the Democratic Republic of Congo encompass some of the world’s most biodiverse… Read More

IUCN: ‘No’ to extractives in Unesco World Heritage – Virunga

IUCN welcomes emphatic ‘no’ to extractives in World Heritage 19 June 2014 | News story Following IUCN’s advice, the World Heritage Committee has sent a strong message to oil and gas and other extractive industries not to operate in World Heritage sites. The message came during discussions about World Heritage sites in Danger, including Africa’s… Read More

SOCO Shareholder Alert in Virunga: Huge Costs Company-Community Conflict in Oil Sector

Costs of Company-Community Conflict in the Extractive Sector The Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at The University of Queensland (UQ), and the Harvard Kennedy School have published new research that has uncovered the true scale of the costs companies incur when they come into conflict with local communities. View & Download the Academic Paper … 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

UK Government set to examine Soco’s activities in Virunga National Park

14 February 2014 The UK Government is set to examine the activities of Soco, a London-based oil company, over alleged violations of environmental protections and human rights abuses in a protected African World Heritage Site. It was announced today that a complaint filed by WWF has been accepted, and issues related to respect for human… Read More