JUN 2015: Virunga’s Future: Last Stand before UNESCO’s 39th session of the World Heritage Committee

On June 28th will start the 39th session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee where the state of Conservation of Virunga National park will be discussed. The World Heritage Committee comprises representatives from 21 States Parties to the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972). Virunga was designated as a World… Read More

1.000 Reasons Save Virunga: Virunga’s Outstanding Universal Values

The UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage has been designed to protect among others the natural objects with the “significant importance”. Here you can learn more about UNESCO World Heritage Convention and why Virunga National Park represents one of the most mystical and valuable natural World Heritage sites in the… Read More

DRC Civil Society: Survival of Communities in Virunga National Park is Non-Negotiable

Open Letter to His Excellency Mr. Prime Minister and Head of Government, Democratic Republic of Congo . The civil society organizations working for the promotion and protection of the Environment and Human Rights in North Kivu (CREDDHO, FECOPEILE, IDPE, SOPR and CREF Network), in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, are grateful for… Read More

Virunga versus Oil: Looking for Answers and Solutions behind the Headlines

On the 12th of March 2015, oil company SOCO International Plc published its preliminary results for the year ending on the 31st December 2014. Virunga regained some momentum after the Oscars, the risk to redraw Virunga’s national park perimeter to accommodate oil exploration made the headlines, WWF seemed to be “reconsidering its victory” [1] and… Read More

Building and Benefiting from a Green Economy in Virunga

This article is a synthesis and specific interpretation of United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report on the transition to Green Economies in Africa and shows how green economy investments in Virunga can also benefit employment, poverty reduction and the sustainable use and management of natural resources in DR-Congo. Building Inclusive Green Economies in Africa showcases… Read More

Oil in Virunga: A Violence Done Against its People

Africa gives the image of a continent with a growing marginalization in the world trade markets; with the exception of the exploitation of some mineral resources such as: bauxite, uranium, gold and most notably oil. Today, the oil wealth feeds states like Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, Congo, and Cameroon. In other states, Sudan, Mali, Chad,… Read More

#2 Reason why Virunga should win the Oscar: Protecting Communities’ Livelihoods

“The benefit of the park [for us communities] is to protect the Lake – so we have security. This means that we keep it as a long term benefit project. In order to meet our future needs.” You can watch here the full video message from Virunga’s fisher communities:  

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

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

1.000 Reasons Save Virunga: Pope Francis Steward of Nature/People

“Our earth needs constant concern and attention.  Each of us has a personal responsibility to care for creation, this precious gift which God has entrusted to us.  This means, on the one hand, that nature is at our disposal, to enjoy and use properly.  Yet it also means that we are not its masters.  Stewards,… Read More

IUCN: Natural World Heritages like Virunga play life-supporting rol in Economy and Communities

New study by IUCN released at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress shows life-supporting role of Natural Heritages. Natural World Heritage sites are not just iconic places with exceptional nature, they also provide benefits that contribute to economies, climate stability and human well-being.  The report highlights the economic benefits and cost-effectiveness of preserving the exceptional World Heritage… 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