CSOs Say NO to Oil in DRC’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites Virunga and Salonga

DRC Civil Society united to protect Virunga and Salonga National park. These two UNESCO World Heritage Natural Sites represent an outstanding universal value and any project of partial disaffection could be considered as an inhuman act intentionally causing great suffering to the thousands of local communities and indigenous peoples who depend on these exceptional values… Read More

Virunga Rangers: Last Wo-Men Standing and Upholding the Law

On average one Virunga National Park ranger is killed every month trying to protect the endangered animals living in this part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Poaching in central Africa has turned into a war in which heavily armed militia target elephants, rhinos and gorillas. The years of conflict have also added to the… Read More

Virunga: Can Environmental Damage by Oil Exploration be Prosecuted as a Crime under International Law? 

This week was marked by the announcement by Global Witness that “the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government is attempting to reclassify swathes of two UNESCO-protected World Heritage Sites –Salonga and Virunga National Parks – to allow oil exploration to take place”. At the same time the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, was concluding… Read More

Why is Effective Environmental Protection and the Rule of Law Important to Preserve Virunga?

Strengthening the rule of law is critical to protecting environmental, social, and cultural values and to achieving ecologically sustainable development.  Without the environmental rule of law and the enforcement of legal rights and obligations, environmental governance, conservation, and protection may be arbitrary, subjective, and unpredictable.  The environmental rule of law and robust institutions are essential… Read More

The Guardian – ‘We know we may be killed’: The Rangers Risking their Lives for Virunga’s Gorillas

The huge national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most dangerous conservation projects in the world. But thanks to the efforts of a committed force of rangers, populations of endangered species are recovering and locals say the park offers hope for the whole region. Jason Burke in Virunga national park,… Read More

Virunga: Preserving Africa’s National Parks through People-Centred Development

Home to rare and endangered species, the Congo’s national parks are also sites of human conflict. Without addressing the material drivers behind ecological degradation, conservation risks a losing battle. For Virunga, this was not an option– as Africa’s oldest national park, tackling socio-economic challenges facing local populations was a necessity in preserving its natural heritage.… Read More

1.000 Reasons Save Virunga: Gorilla babies, babies, and more babies…

Virunga’s rangers couldn’t be happier with the way 2018 has begun. The first of seven births happened on January 7th, when Sebutimbiri of the Mapuwa family gave birth to a boy. Several days later four more babies were born within five days of each other. With January in the books, rangers understandably thought they had… Read More

Virunga: African Heritage and its Sustainable Development

The subject of African heritage and its sustainable development – or African heritage and sustainable development – has become one of the most discussed issues of late, both within and outside the continent. The discussion has not been confined only to heritage practitioners but has traversed the traditional boundaries, bringing in the practitioners, academicians, communities,… Read More

Virunga New Year’s Resolution: We won’t Sacrifice Protected Areas and Sacred Sites to Extractive Industries and Human Greed.

When Save Virunga started more than 6 years ago our aim was simple: to give a voice to local communities who depend on the survival of Virunga National Park for their livelihoods and to protect Africa’s oldest National Park from oil extraction. We believed that Virunga should be a place where no oil extraction and pollution occurs, a… Read More

Linking Tourism and Conservation in Virunga: One of the Planets Hotspots!

Virunga was the first national park on the continent of Africa. Today the Virunga National Park of the DR Congo is part of a three countries’ (including Rwanda and Uganda) group of protected areas covering the Virunga mountains, one of the planets hotspots with mountain gorillas as flag-ship species. For much of its long history,… Read More

Hot off the Press : Land Grabbing and Illegal Distribution of Land in Virunga National Park

Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on the border of Uganda and Rwanda. Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park and is also the continent’s most biologically diverse protected area. The park’s 7800 square kilometers (3000 square miles) includes forests, savannas, lava plains, swamps, erosion valleys,… Read More

BREAKING: DRC Virunga Park Again Threatened by Oil, links to SOCO

It was believed that  Virunga was saved after the withdrawal in 2015 of the oil company Soco who wanted to drill in the park. It was an illusion: Kinshasa has been negotiating the renewal of the controversial permit to an offshore oil company. It was June 2014. At that time, the British firm Soco International, after an… Read More