Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo, Virunga Ranger, wins Goldman Environmental Prize for Defending Congo’s Wildlife

Putting his life on the line, Rodrigue Katembo went undercover to document and release information about bribery and corruption in the quest to drill for oil in Virunga National Park, resulting in public outrage that forced the company to withdraw from the project. Rich in resources, mired by conflicts A former Belgian colony, the Democratic… Read More

Save Virunga’s Hippos from the Devastating Effects BP-oil Spill is having on Dolphins

This week Mongabay reported on the results of a new study that shows how exposure to the 2010 BP oil spill is likely to have caused late-term abortions of in-utero dolphins, or early death of newborns. These new findings add to the mounting evidence that exposure to petroleum compounds following an oil spill can severely… Read More

1.000 Reasons Save Virunga: Evolutionary Update #40 Asher Jay

Asher Jay Artist Statement Asher Jay is an art activist, designer, writer, and public speaker. She was educated at Parsons the New School of Design, in New York. Shortly after graduating, she pursued a career working for various fashion houses in New York, which furnished her with the necessary experience to create her eponymous, exclusive,… 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

Campaigners in Virunga urge UK’s SFO to take allegations against SOCO seriously

Local campaigners in Virunga urge UK’s Serious Fraude Office to  take the allegations against the company SOCO seriously in order to protect local communities and save Virunga National Park. Local campaigners in Virunga, some of whom have suffered intimidation and scare tactics in the course of their activism protecting the national park, wrote to Clifford Chance to… Read More

Oil-related Corruption, Bribery Alleged in Virunga: The Story Continues

A fabled park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is under pressure from oil developers. And activists allege the dealings are tainted by corruption. Jeffrey Young full article was published on April 20th In VOA Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to volcanoes and some of the world’s few remaining mountain… Read More

Questions Remain About the Use of Threats and Physical Violence Against oil Opponents in Virunga

Some of the most serious questions that SOCO International has to answer relate to allegations that its representatives and allies used threats and physical violence against opponents of the company’s operations in Virunga. There have been worrying reports from credible and respected local organisations since at least 2012 of SOCO International allies orchestrating a campaign of… Read More

Congolese People Fight for the Survival of Virunga: A Local Perspective

“Oil: the fossil fuel responsible for the dispute over Virunga National Park in Congo” By Jakub Szweda Congolese people fight for their stability and food security after prospecting search for oil by a British company.  SOCO International, in 2007, has signed a production-sharing contract for Block 5 Albertine Grahen, permitting them to enter over a half of… Read More

FEB 2015: Church of Engeland Joins Virunga Communities and asks Independent Inquiry of Soco’s operations

Move follows film backed by Leonardo DiCaprio and pleas by local NGOs, environmentalists, transparency campaigners and members of the UK Parliament to protect Congo’s Virunga park. The church – led by archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, a former oil executive – has said that it may sell its near £3m stake in Soco International unless… Read More

De Merode and the Tireless Fight of Those who Believe in the Future of the Virunga

An interview between Belgian Prince Emmanuel de Merode and Alec Hogg at the World Economic Forum quintessentially sums up the spirit of Davos and exactly what the forum is trying to achieve. Prince Emmanuel’s tale pulls at the heart-strings for many reasons as it informs us about the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and… Read More

1.000 Reasons Save Virunga: #36 “We say to Soco: No”

“As she serves us a dinner of Lake Edward tilapia—grilled with onions and cassava leaves, and accompanied by fried potatoes and extra pili pili sauce—she delivers an assessment of Soco that most residents of the area would agree with. A future of oil, she fears, will destroy Lake Edward’s fish and pollute the local land and water,… Read More

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