Stories of Bad Governments and Bad Businesses in a Fragile Virunga

Pursuing oil exploration and possible exploitation in Virunga is a good example of how greed has poisoned the souls of many. It is one of the too many stories of bad governments and bad businesses doing harm to their people and the planet, no remorse attached. In @DClimateJustice‘s insightful article, greed comes in many forms. Be it… 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

1.000 Reasons Save Virunga: The Renegade Scientist Who Taught Us to Love Gorillas

A peek into the National Geographic archives reveals how Dian Fossey refused to let anyone “cheapen” the misunderstood primates. By Nina Strochlic Before she was known around the world for living with mountain gorillas, Dian Fossey struggled to bring attention to their dwindling numbers. Certain that gorillas were on the verge of extinction, she adopted… Read More

Park Rangers Under Attack: 9 killed in DRC in 2016 – the highest number in Africa #WRD

#WORLDRANGERDAY2017 – PARK RANGERS UNDER ATTACK IN THE DRC    10 defenders killed in the DRC in 2016 – the highest number in Africa   9 of those killed were park rangers   The DRC government is threatening those campaigning against abuses in the natural resource sector Natural predators are the least of Rodrigue Katembo’s worries… Read More

Virunga for Dummies: All What you Wanted to Know about Africa’s Oldest National Park

Virunga National Park was created in 1925, contained within 790,000 hectares the greatest biological diversity of any park in Africa: from steppes, savannas and lava plains, swamps, lowland and montane forests to volcanoes and the unique giant herbs and snowfields of Rwenzori over 5,000m high. Thousands of hippopotamuses lived in its rivers, its mountains are a… Read More

The Congo’s Midas Curse: Nature and People

Virunga National Park is a major source of revenue for armed groups that exploit illegally its resources such as wildlife, minerals and charcoal. The trafficking of all these natural resources remains one of the underlying causes of instability in Eastern DR-Congo and a curse for nature and people. — Diamonds and gold — vast natural resources… Read More

Creating Hope: Development is Ending Wildlife Crime in Virunga

Read here UNEP’s blog where Emmanuel de Merode writes about the work being done in Virunga to end wildlife crime through development. In a seemingly dark and tumultuous world, I find the greatest beacon of hope here in the Virunga National Park, eastern Congo. Hope that, through the efforts of those working to protect the… Read More

1.000 Reasons Save Virunga: Congo’s Heritage

“The Congo is a land far away, yet our histories are so closely linked. We have thrived from a lopsided relationship, yet we are utterly blind to it. The price of that myopia has been human suffering on an unimaginable scale.” Dan Snow

Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo, Virunga Ranger, wins Goldman Environmental Prize for Defending Congo’s Wildlife

Putting his life on the line, Rodrigue Katembo went undercover to document and release information about bribery and corruption in the quest to drill for oil in Virunga National Park, resulting in public outrage that forced the company to withdraw from the project. Rich in resources, mired by conflicts A former Belgian colony, the Democratic… Read More

Drilling Africa’s Great Lakes: No Virunga and No Planet B

Blocks off Africa’s coast have already been snapped up by exploration companies but what of East Africa’s enormous great lakes? With exploration well underway in Lake Albert and plans laid down for Lake Malawi, Philip Kleinfeld looks at the social, political and environmental challenges. Lake Albert Uganda Blocks off Africa’s coast have already been snapped… 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

Virunga National Park: When Deeds Say more than Words

Sometimes it seems easier to write about conflict, than to do something about ending it. Eastern DRC does not escape this fate, in the mist of conflict and the never ending power struggles it has become  a very prolific research ground for many. We all have something to say about DRC’s conflict, about its roots, consequences and its devastating… Read More