The Battle Continues 2: Stop Oil Exploration Bids for the Ngaji Oil Block in Greater Virunga

Five community-based groups and civil society organisations representing over 272 members from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have written an open letter to six oil companies. The community groups and CSOs are calling on the companies not to submit oil exploration bids for the Ngaji oil block, which covers Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP)… Read More

Virunga Congo’s Oil Saga: A story of shadowy deals, environmental burden and civil society protest

Theodore Trefon noted in 2016 that “Oil has become big business in the DRC and the subject of major deal making – more often than not by dubious partners. It is shrouded in secrecy and controlled by the presidency” (1). The oil and gas sector of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ranked 84th (among 89… Read More

Conservation and Oil in Protected Areas: Part I The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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 he Greater Virunga… Read More

Stop the East African Crude Oil Pipeline: For People, For Nature, For Climate

Over 260 organisations call on banks not to finance Total’s East African Crude Oil Pipeline With a final investment decision nearing, African and International organisations warn banks against joining $2.5 billion loan for a “manifestly irresponsible” project On the 1st of March 2021, 263 community and not-for-profit organisations from around the world urged the CEOs… Read More

Meet the Team that Protects Virunga: EU, GWC and Leo

After an exceptionally challenging year for biodiversity conservation across the world because of the coronavirus pandemic, the European Union, environmentalist and Academy Award ® -winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) launched two initiatives to better protect the planet in 2021 worth €34 million today. Both initiatives -a Rapid Response for Ecosystems, Species… Read More

Saving One/All Virunga Rangers

Just a few days ago, another six rangers were killed in an ambush at DR Congo’s Virunga National Park. This is a small fraction of the more than 200 rangers killed in the past, including 12 last April in the deadliest of such attacks in recent memory. We always seem to notice rangers in their… Read More

Virunga 2021: Renewing our Fractured Relationship with the Planet

The real cure for COVID is renewing our fractured relationship with the planet JAMES MASKALYK AND DAVE COURCHENE If humanity is to endure, the coming months must hold healing, not just of populations across the globe from the coronavirus, but of the Earth herself. As is true of many zoonoses (diseases that jumped from animals),… Read More

Hope for Virunga 2021: Hundreds of Elephants Return to DRC’s Park

A group of about 580 savanna elephants recently returned to Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after crossing over from Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. The reappearance of the elephants brings hope to a park that’s been beset with civil unrest, violence, and poaching for decades. In May, Virunga National… Read More

Remembering Virunga Bravest 2020

2020 will go down as a somber year in human history with a global pandemic and a year full of protest against racial injustice. For Virunga National Park, 2020, will be remembered as the deadliest year in the history of the park with 21 Rangers and Employees who tragically lost their lives in 2020. Today… Read More

From Armed Groups to Politicians: The Same Dirty Game to Destroy Virunga

Virunga National Park has for more than two decades been going through a period characterized by various threats due not only to the activism of armed groups but also to the pressure exerted by local communities on natural resources, a phenomenon resulting from manipulations on the part of certain political leaders. Faced with this last… Read More

BLED BY ARMED GROUPS, CONGO’S VIRUNGA PARK WANTS JUSTICE

Armed groups that have been roaming eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for decades are known for killing and raping civilians. But they are also responsible for environmental crimes of ever-growing proportions, particularly in the famous Virunga National Park. BY EPHREM RUGIRIRIZA AND CLAUDE SENGENYA, JUSTICEINFO.NET “An illegal charcoal cartel is helping to finance one of… Read More