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

ATTENTION: Notre Virunga est Menacé, que Faire? Continuez, N’abandonnez Jamais.

“L’écologie est le flux. Vous et moi faisons définitivement partie du flux. Tout ce que nous faisons affecte le flux. Tout ce que le flux fait nous affecte. “ Robert Hunter La semaine dernière BBC, Bloomberg et beaucoup d’autres ont rapporté les nouvelles horribles que la République Démocratique du Congo envisageait «d’ouvrir des espaces de deux… Read More

BREAKING: Our Virunga is Under Threat, What to Do? Continue, Never Give-up.

“Ecology is flow. You and I are most definitely part of the flow. Everything we do affects the flow. Everything the flow does affects us.” Robert Hunter Last week BBC, Bloomberg and many others reported the horrifying news that the Democratic Republic of Congo was considering “whether to open up swathes of two world-famous national… 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

The Curse of Oil : Lessons for Virunga, Leave the Oil in the Soil

The problem, in a nutshell, is that for fifty years, foreign oil companies have conducted some of the world’s most sophisticated exploration and production operations, using millions of dollars’ worth of imported ultramodern equipment, against a backdrop of Stone Age squalor. They have extracted hundreds of millions of barrels of oil, which have sold on… 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

Good News For Virunga: Mountain Gorilla Numbers Surpass 1.000

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Rwanda, and Republic of Uganda release new census results. Rubavu, Rwanda, 31 May 2018 A recent survey documented 604 mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), the largest number of mountain gorillas ever recorded in the transboundary Virunga Massif, one of the two remaining areas where this Critically… 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