Virunga: PROTECTING AFRICA’S OLDEST NATIONAL PARK
We’re working to keep Virunga National Park free from oil exploration
A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
UK oil company Soco has ended its oil exploration operations in Virunga. But for Virunga to be safe in the long-term, we need the DRC government to cancel all oil exploration permits as requested by UNESCO, and for sustainable development to start.
Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park and a treasured World Heritage Site. It’s the size of a small country, straddling the equator in Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It’s got more than its share of wonderful wildlife - not just huge numbers of unique birds, but African icons like lions, elephants, hippos, chimps and the remarkable okapi. And a quarter of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas. People who live and work there know it’s a very special place.
The future for Virunga
Soco's withdrawal from Virunga is a victory for the people who depend directly on the park’s resources and a triumph for everyone who values the rare plants, animals and habitats the park was set up to protect. With the development of hydropower, fisheries and ecotourism industries, Virunga can have a prosperous and sustainable future.
Now is the time for the DRC government to reaffirm its conviction that Virunga has outstanding universal value for all humanity by cancelling all oil concessions overlapping the park, as requested by UNESCO. Only then will Virunga’s outstanding value truly be secure for the future, and only then can the park reach its full potential to drive sustainable economic development in Democratic Republic of the Congo. We will also continue to say no to the pressures putting World Heritage Sites in danger across the globe.
Thank you for your support and please join us in protecting more places like Virunga.
Virunga oil permits should be cancelled, UNESCO rules
A group of 21 countries tasked by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to implement the World Heritage Convention today has issued a call to Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to end the prospect of oil exploitation in Virunga National Park. "
Oil company Soco not to drill in Virunga World Heritage Site
Soco International PLC will end its operations in Africa's oldest national park and also is committing to remain out of all other UNESCO WOrld Heritage SItes. "
WWF staff threatened over Virunga
WWF reported to authorities today that staff members have received death threats linked to the organizations opposition to oil exploration in Virunga National Park."
Tutu, Branson and Buffett take on Soco in fight for Virunga
Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and millionaire philanthropist Howard G. Buffett have cautioned that oil exploration by Soco International PLC could be devastating to Africas most iconic national park and its people."
WWF condemns Soco seismic testing in Virunga
In defiance of local protests and international opposition, UK company Soco International PLC will start on Saturday the seismic testing phase of its controversial oil exploration project in Virunga National Park, according to media reports. "
WWF calls on Soco to explain Virunga allegations in new film
Conservation organization WWF is issuing a call to UK oil company Soco International PLC to respond to allegations revealed tonight in a documentary premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival."
WWF statement on Virunga warden
The chief warden of Democratic Republic of the Congos Virunga National Park, Emmanuel de Merode, has been shot in an ambush"
Congolese protesters demand cancelation of Soco oil permits
Over 50 protestors assembled peacefully in the street Monday holding banners proclaiming no to oilin Virunga National Park."
Fishermen and farmers express extreme discontent over Soco plans in Virunga
Residents of two communities near Virunga National Parks Lake Edward last week publicly declared firm opposition to the oil exploration plans of a UK company."
EU reps speak out about Socos Virunga exploration
Two European diplomats have expressed concerns about oil exploration activities being conducted by a UK oil company in an African World Heritage Site.
Increased risk to shareholders over Socos controversial exploration plans in Virunga
In advance of the announcement of Soco International PLCs preliminary results for 2013, shareholders should take note of the companys mounting risks in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), WWF has warned.
Major victory in conservation battle against oil company
A major corporate social responsibility agency today has announced an examination of Soco International PLC for alleged violations of human rights and environmental protections related to the companys operations in an African World Heritage Site.
Virunga activist refuses to be silent about oil threat
I am against the oil exploitation project in Virunga National Park, since I am aware that oil operations will likely damage the treasured site and the health and wellbeing of our population.
World Heritage Sites now 'no-go' for Total
The French oil giant says it will not conduct any extraction of oil or gas nor any exploration activity within the perimeter of the natural World Heritage Sites.
Socos exploration in Virunga violates OECD guidelines, WWF alleges
WWF has filed a complaint alleging that British oil company Soco International PLC has breached international corporate social responsibility standards.
Construction begins on new Virunga hydropower plant
A second hydroelectric project was started Monday on a river that runs through Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Local pressure mounts against oil in Virunga
Citizens concerned about possible oil exploration in Virunga National Park are calling on the international community for its support in the fight against a foreign petrochemical company.
UK government opposes Socos oil exploration in Virunga
Plans by London-based oil company Soco International PLC to explore for oil in a fragile African World Heritage Site have hit firm opposition from the UK government.
Oil exploration threatens Africa’s billion dollar World Heritage Site
Africa’s oldest national park could be worth US$1.1 billion per year if developed sustainably, rather than being given over to potentially-damaging oil extraction, a report by WWF today has found.
Watch the video
Some places are worth fighting for, Virunga National Park is one of them. WWF is asking you to DRAW THE LINE to save Africa's oldest and most biodiverse park from oil exploration.
WWF economist Toby Roxburg examines how we assign value to extraordinary natural places like Virunga National Park.
The Economic Value of Virunga National Park
Read the report
Virunga’s hydropower potential
Virunga National Park’s first hydropower plant has started to generate electricity.
Soco failed to assess human rights risks before Virunga exploration, paper alleges
British oil company Soco International PLC has been criticized for an alleged failure to conduct a proper human rights due diligence before it started its activities
New DRC oil bill would weaken protection for national parks, NGO says
International NGO Global Witness said Friday that an oil bill soon to be up for a vote by Congolese parliament should be suspended