To date, over 200 rangers have been killed protecting Virunga and its surrounding communities, the highest fatality rate for any protected area on earth.
The upsurge in violent attacks and the killings of park staff has left Virunga in an enormously difficult situation going into the new year. Protecting a national park in a region afflicted by decades of conflict has become all the more difficult with the successive challenges of the 2018-19 Ebola epidemic and now the 2020-21 COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbated by the ongoing loss of the entire revenue from tourism since March last year.
As we try our best to navigate these uncertain waters, our conviction to protect the park and its surrounding communities is resolute. Through it all, Virunga rangers remain the frontline of defense in ensuring the park’s long-term survival.
Despite the risks, these brave men and women show up everyday to preserve one of the planet’s last remaining biodiversity hotspots for future generations. Even in these dark times, the Park is lucky to have some constant friends. The European Union and GWC have once again stepped up to support Virunga and will double match any donations to the Park in the aftermath of Sunday’s tragedy. So today, we have a request of you: we need your help to ensure that Virunga survives and the sacrifices of our Rangers are not in vain. Knowing the unprecedented times through which we are all living, Virunga is humbled by any support that you can give. We know the only way forward is together and thank you for being a part of our team.