Transmission of Diseases from Humans to Apes: Extra Vigilance for Virunga

With the current outbreak of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, global attention has been drawn to the significant health risks posed by eating wild animals. As the number of infections from the coronavirus exploded in China, the outbreak was linked to a live animal and seafood market in Jianghan District, Wuhan. The specific animal source and… Read More

Virunga: How a Park on the Verge of Collapse Became Hope for People and Nature

The birth of a small mountain gorilla again on January 8, the very first for 2020, was celebrated as a big event. This is proof of the restoration of ecosystems and the sustainable development of natural resources in this protected area declared “world heritage of humanity” and which covers 8,000 km². Virunga National Park (ViNP)… 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

Murchison Falls National Park: An Oil Project in a Protected Natural Area, High Risks of Environmental Violations

Total is present in Uganda through its wholly owned subsidiary Total Exploration & Production Uganda B.V (hereinafter Total Uganda), developing an oil project called “Tilenga” on the shores of Lake Albert. Total owns 54.9% of the project and is its operator. Its partners are the Chinese oil company CNOOC, with a 33.33% stake and Britain-based Tullow… Read More

Save Virunga 2020: If You Hurt Nature You Are Hurting Yourself

“Because we do not love the earth and the things of the earth but merely utilize them…we have lost touch with life…We have lost the sense of tenderness, that sensitivity, that response to things of beauty; and it is only in the renewal of that sensitivity that we can have understanding of what is true… Read More

Happy Holidays: Virunga Mountain Gorilla Population Shows 5.7% Growth!

The latest Virunga Alliance report for the July-August-September 2019 quarter reports the birth of 5 new baby gorillas in Virunga National Park, located at the East of the country. However, a baby is dead. With the 4 survivors, the total number of gorillas now stands at 147 in this nature reserve. “Mountain gorillas are doing… Read More

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Conservation and Virunga in a Changing Climate

For the past years, we have fought for the protection of Virunga National Park and against oil exploration and exploitation in Africa’s oldest National park. We engaged in this battle not only because we wanted to safeguard one of its most iconic species, the mountain gorilla, but also because we believe that local communities have… Read More

Protected Areas like Virunga Are a Gift Handed from One Wise Generation to the Next

“One of the major tenets behind the creation of a national park, or other protected area, is that it will not fade, but remain in essence beyond the pressures of human society, enjoyed by current generations while being preserved for future ones. The protected area is a gift, in a way, handed from one wise… Read More

Strengthening the Connection Virunga Park and People: A Battle to Win Together!

Oil exploration forms a serious threat to the oldest and most precious nature reserve in Africa, Virunga, and to the communities that depend upon its resources. Local communities, local conservationists and human rights organizations oppose the search for oil and defend the right of these local populations to a healthy environment and sustainable development option.… Read More

Leave Ngaji Block out of Oil Licensing, Protect Queen Elizabeth NP and Virunga Landscape!

During the East African petroleum and exhibition conference held on May 8, 2019 in Mombasa, the minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Irene Muloni, announced the second licensing open bidding of five oil blocks to further Uganda’s commercial interests in oil production. This also included two oil blocks of Ngagi and Turaco that had hitherto… Read More

BREAKING: CSOs Call on the Presidents of Uganda and DRC to Avoid Oil Exploration in Sensitive Ecosystems in Albertine Graben

The Albertine Graben is home to Virunga National Park in the Eastern DRC which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site and accommodates 43% of Africa’s bird species, 27% of Africa’s mammals and more than 10% of its reptiles, amphibians, and plants in addition to several rare and endangered species that exist nowhere else… Read More