Virunga: Oil Exploitation, A Risk for Local Communities

By Esther Nsapu, correspondent in Eastern DRC In a consortium in Goma, seven environmental civil society organizations from the North Kivu province called “Alliance for Green Livelihoods” (GLA) are protesting against the proposal of the Minister of Hydrocarbons, to decommission some of the Virunga and Salonga National Parks to conduct oil exploration and exploitation. The… Read More

1.000 Reasons Save Virunga: More Gorilla Days

September 24 marks World Gorilla Day, when humanity celebrates one of its closest relatives, sharing 98 percent of our DNA as we do, plus we also have a common ancestor that lived not too long ago in evolutionary terms, around 10 million years ago. All species of gorillas are critically endangered according to the Red… Read More

BREAKING: Virunga Communities Ask DRC President Kabila to Stop Oil Exploitation in Iconic National Parks

The communities bordering Virunga National Park (North Kivu) presented on Wednesday, September 26, in Kinshasa, a collective petition addressed to President Joseph Kabila to say “no to any initiative to degazette national parks Virunga and Salonga or decommission one of their areas to accommodate oil exploitation to the detriment of humanity and the local communities… Read More

Global Witness’ Drillers in the Mist: Revelations on EU investors’ role in Virunga

Drillers in the Mist: how secret payments and a climate of violence helped SOCO International open Africa’s oldest national park to oil. This emblematic case highlights how secret payments and a climate of violence in Eastern DRC helped SOCO International open Virunga National park, a UNESCO World heritage site, to oil exploration with financial support… Read More

Virunga Rangers Project: Meet the Heroes Who Risk their Lives to Protect the Park and Communities

Visit Virunga National Park New Website and Page dedicated to the Ranger Project & DONATE ! Here below a small preview: Virunga’s Rangers stand fearlessly on the frontline of conservation for the protection of the park’s wildlife, natural resources, and for the surrounding communities. They routinely face harsh physical conditions, injury, or even death. In the… Read More

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