Posted on 15 January 2015
This powerful film recognizes those on the frontlines of conservation
WWF extends warm congratulations to Virunga
for its Oscar nomination in the best feature documentary category. The movie
highlights the tremendous challenges to conservation in Africa’s oldest and most biodiverse national park, which is situated in violence-torn eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
For the past decades, Virunga has been under constant threats from poaching, encroachment and civil unrest. During the last 15 years, about 150 rangers have lost their lives while protecting this extremely precious and yet fragile ecosystem.
Virunga is a World Heritage Site and boasts Africa’s most diverse array of landscapes: savannahs, lava plains, swamps, lowland forests, active volcanoes and snow-capped mountains. It is also home to over 700 bird species and 200 mammal species, including rare and endangered animals such as mountain and Grauer’s gorillas. More than 100,000 people depend on the park for vital resources.
Apart from the longstanding threats to the park, the movie showcases the fierce fight conservationists have waged more recently
against oil exploration and exploitation in Virunga. Park staff and their allies have received numerous threats for standing their ground against powerful, multi-national oil companies.
WWF, which has been working in and around Virunga for over 25 years, has been extremely vocal against any oil exploration and exploitation in the park. Our petition
last year gathered more than 750,000 signatures worldwide. We continue to stand firm and support the work of the conservation community to keep all oil activities out of Virunga and any other World Heritage Sites.