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

Global Mobilization for Protection of UNESCO World Heritage against Oil: Save Virunga

Joint statement in support of moratorium on all oil activities in the wider Virunga area The undersigned call on UNESCO and the governments of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)i to reach an agreement to prevent any oil exploration, extraction or related activities in the wider Virunga area which is key to the… 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

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

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

Thank You: Church of England divests from Soco Oil firm over Virunga

The Church Commissioners for England announce full divestment from SOCO The Church Commissioners for England are today announcing full divestment from their holdings in SOCO International to the total of £1.6 million and the company has been notified. The decision to divest follows the recommendation from the Ethical Investment Advisory Group of the Church of… Read More

A Message to Shareholders Willing to Finance Oil Exploitation in Virunga – DRC

MSF-Photo: Colin Delfosse – A resident of Rubaya camp in Masisi, North Kivu, looks out over the makeshift tents.  When investing in Oil be aware that you are also contributing: 1. To finance massacres, conflicts and inter-ethnic wars, low intensity warfare originated in the oil exploitation; 2. To expel populations from oil areas (from families… Read More

Virunga discussed in UK Parliament: Serious Concerns Remain

Allegations of human rights abuses and corruption, associated with SOCO International’s oil exploration in and around Virunga National Park, were discussed in the UK parliament this week. In the House of Commons on 17th December 2014, Pauline Latham MP OBE raised the Question: “Will the Secretary of State tell us what her Department has done… Read More

Virunga National Park Under Threat From Oil Exploration

Virunga National Park Under Threat From Oil Exploration JULY 21, 2014EMILYLORAJAMES Virunga National Park, situated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has been under threat for decades. The park was founded in 1925 by Belgium’s King Albert I (National Geographic) but has since seen many periods of conflict and the settlement of refugees. These have… Read More

Greenpeace, the thirst for oil no respite for Nature in Virunga

Excerpt and Unofficial Translation of Greenpeace’s Blogpost: “Virunga : la soif de pétrole ne laisse aucun répit à la nature” With the European premiere of ” Virunga ”  during the Docville movie Festival in Belgium, Virunga National Park is again under the spotlight . The finding is more than bitter: from Virunga to the North… Read More

4 June HRW: DR-Congo Investigate Attacks On Virunga Oil Project Critics – They Need Protection

(Kinshasa) – Democratic Republic of Congo authorities should fully and impartially investigate threats and violence against Virunga National Park rangers and local activists, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should examine whether the incidents are linked to plans to explore for oil within and near Virunga Park by SOCO International, a British oil company operating in… 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