National Geographic and Virunga: Inside the Fight to Save One of the World’s Most Dangerous Parks

Virunga, one of the wonders of Africa, is home to rare gorillas—and plagued by violence and economic tension. BY ROBERT DRAPER PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRENT STIRTON This story appears in the July 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine. When the ranger studied the ragtag crew he was supervising, seven young men repairing a rugged road that… Read More

Women for Virunga: “We cannot tire or give up. We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk”

“We humans are only part of the ecosystem and if we kill part of the system we are killing ourselves, that is what we need to understand, that this ecosystem must remain as it is, it must be sustained, because in its survival depends our own” – Wangari Maathai Wangari Maathai (1940–2011) was the founder… Read More

Fishers Unite: Fish not Oil in Virunga and Lake Edward

Fishers Unite! All Pictures from Enanga.org It is abnormal for a fisher or fishing community to depend on imported fish for protein. It is an unhappy situation when an experienced fisherman returns from a fishing trip with only flotsam or other debris, including plastics, in the nets. Unfortunately, this is the reality facing fishers in… Read More

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