Virunga Environmental Defenders Question Felix Tshisekedi on the Protection of National Parks

The Synergy of Ecologists for Peace and Development calls on DRC’s new president to protect the country’s national parks against oil exploitation projects and security threats. This platform, that  brings together a dozen of environmental organisations from North Kivu, launched this call through an open letter addressed to President Felix Tshisekedi on Friday, January 25. Virunga… 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

DRC Civil Society Conservation Review: Urgent Actions Needed to Save Virunga National Park in 2019

As we begin the new year of 2019, we, the member organizations of the Synergy of Ecologists for Peace and Development, regret to draw a mixed assessment for the conservation of Virunga National Park during the year 2018. Indeed, the good news is that with the combined efforts of local communities – governmental conservation institutions… Read More

2019 Virunga Resolution #4 : Protecting Environmental Rights Defenders in Their Work

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has experienced significant conflict, including long spates of civil war (1996-2003) also involving neighbouring States, and political and ethnic conflict regionally which continues today. The ongoing conflict has led to the mass internal displacement of over 4.5 million people, predominantly from the Kasaï, Tanganyika and Kivu regions, with… Read More

Save Virunga 2018 Rewind: Fight For a Better Planet

Our Mother Earth: militarized, fenced-in, and poisoned, A place where basic rights Are systematically violated, Demands that we take action I dedicate this award to all forms of rebellion And to all the martyrs in the fight to defend nature Berta Cáceres In 2019 help us spread the word and support the DRC Government to make the… Read More

Virunga Human Rights Day: We Stand up for our Rights and the Right of a Healthy Environment

“I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses. We must never forget that it is our duty to protect this environment.” — Nelson Mandela. On December 10th  we commemorate  Human Rights Day, the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This… Read More

Capitalism is Killing the World’s Wildlife Populations and Places like Virunga, not ‘humanity’

The latest Living Planet report from the WWF makes for grim reading: a 60% decline in wild animal populations since 1970, collapsing ecosystems, and a distinct possibility that the human species will not be far behind. The report repeatedly stresses that humanity’s consumption is to blame for this mass extinction, and journalists have been quick… Read More

Virunga and Africa: Biodiversity and Nature’s Contributions Continue Dangerous Decline, Scientists Warn

Human well-being at risk. Landmark reports highlight options to protect and restore nature and its vital contributions to people Biodiversity – the essential variety of life forms on Earth – continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature’s capacity to contribute to people’s well-being. This alarming trend endangers economies, livelihoods, food… Read More

If governments really want to save Virunga and all these unique places, species from extinction…Then…

Cut Carbon Pollution, Show Political Willingness and Take on Corporate Power! PROBLEM “When we think about climate change, a recurring phrase is that we should ‘do our bit’ to reduce our footprint. Others harangue environmentalists for peddling ‘green guilt.’ Both of those, a positive and a negative, imply complicity: climate change is something we’re all… Read More

1.000 Reasons to Save Virunga: Home to Unparalleled Biodiversity

Virunga, which was designated a World Heritage Center in 1979, has earned a reputation as one of the most dangerous national parks in Africa. It is home to unparalleled biodiversity, including lions, elephants, and the rare mountain gorillas, which have been threatened by habitat loss from farming and unrest stemming from DRC’s two civil wars—one… Read More

DRC: Oil Exploitation Threatens Virunga and Salonga Parks

A petition gathering more than 23,000 signatures opposes the exploitation of oil in Virunga and Salonga parks. Communities bordering Virunga Park continue to raise awareness about any oil exploitation initiative in this UNESCO World Heritage Park. Already in September 2018, they had sent to the Presidency of the Republic, a petition signed by over 23,000… Read More

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