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

Global Witness investigates oil-lobby tactics during UNESCO meeting on Virunga

When an oil company promises to suspend hugely controversial work in Africa’s oldest national park it should be cause for celebration. But the commitment by British oil company Soco to withdraw from Virunga National Park—a Congolese World Heritage Site that is home to rare mountain gorillas—was rife with ambiguity. If it sounds too good to… Read More

Civil Society in the Great Lakes Region calls on President Obama to protect Virunga National Park

Four ACCA member organizations from the Great Lakes Region have joined in an open letter calling on President Obama to act to protect Virunga National Park: Centre de Recherche sur l’Environnement, la Démocratie et les Droits de l’Homme (CREDDHO); Réseau pour la Conservation et la Réhabilitation des Ecosystèmes Forestiers (Réseau CREF); Actions pour les Droits, l’Environnement et la… 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

Message 12 North-Kivu Civil Society and UNESCO United to Preserve Virunga for Communities and Humanity

On July 11th of this year North-Kivu Civil Society Groups wrote a Memorandum to the Director-General of the UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, reiterating their views against oil exploration in Virunga National park and expressing their deep concerns in front of the possible redrawing of the park boundaries in order to accommodate oil exploration and exploitation… Read More

REPOST 2013: What Has SOCO International Plc said about Oil Exploration in Virunga – Top 10…

SOCO is uncertain of what the Virunga National Park landscape looked like when it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1979. However, we are aware of what the area looks like today, scarred by decades of deforestation, poaching and violence against its inhabitants. Despite the efforts and financial investments of some organizations in the… 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

June 17, 38th Session World Heritage Committee: Virunga’s Next Battlefield

The 38th session of the World Heritage Committee threatens to become the next major battle for Virunga’s survival. As DRC Member of the parliament, Francois Nzekuye explains the oil company SOCO has only committed to wait for drilling in Virunga until the UNESCO and the DRC government agree that such activities are not incompatible with its… Read More

No Victory for Virunga: Park boundaries could be redrawn to accommodate Oil Exploration

DR-Congo’s member of the parliament interview sheds even more light over why SOCO’s chairman Rui de Sousa said a few days ago at the company’s AGM : “We have not pulled out – it’s not the point” Francois Nzekuye: “We can then ask for the declassification of part of Virunga National Park” “Nobody has lost, nobody has… Read More