Virunga: Oil company agrees to leave

Now we must secure Virunga National Park’s long-term future.

A sustainable future

Soco has committed to end its operations in Virunga, but we still need your help to secure a sustainable future for this special place and its communities and wildlife in the long term. UNESCO has called for all the oil permits in the park to be cancelled. Help us hold the line.

People-power works. Together we'll hold the line.

About Virunga

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 the 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.

Campaign timeline

August 2013 Campaign launched

We launched our campaign to protect Virunga. Hundreds of thousands of you signed up in the first week

October 2013 Our Virunga film released

WWF Ambassador Anna Friel launched a film based on her visit to the area. Media around the world became interested in the issue.

7th October 2013 OECD complaint submitted

WWF filed a complaint alleging breaches of corporate social responsibility standards outlined in the OECD guidelines  the worlds best practice guidelines for businesses

14th February 2014 OECD complaint upheld

The UK government agency evaluating the case found that it merited further examination through the OECD complaint process.

June 2014 Campaign success!

Soco agreed to end their operations in Virunga - and the immediate threat of oil exploration ends.

Next steps Hold the line!

Our goal is to keep Virunga safe! We still need your support to keep Africas oldest national park safe forever. Help us hold the line!

The Future for Virunga

Socos decision to withdraw from Virunga is a victory for the people that depend directly on the parks 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 Virungas outstanding value truly be secure for the future, and only then can the park reach its full potential to drive sustainable economic development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We will also continue to say no to the pressures putting World Heritage Sites in danger across the globe.

This is a huge victory for our planet. We cannot thank you enough.