Monday, March 28, 2016

Virunga: an unknown story

I had meant to watch this documentary for a while but only got round to it a few days ago. I sat down, prepared for a sad story but not prepared for what I saw.

The movie Virunga was very eye-opening on an issue that I had never heard before and I am sure many others have not either. I do not remember it being plastered all over the news as it was happening.

The Virunga National Park is in eastern Congo and is home to beautiful creatures and exceptional nature. It is also home to the only mountain gorillas in the world and provides the community with economic income from tourists and fishes from the lake. Rangers fight to protect it every day and this is their story.
Amongst a civil war and an oil company, SOCO International, wanting to dig for oil inside the park, the rangers struggle to make their voices heard. The Virunga park is an UNESCO natural heritage site. Let me repeat this. AN UNESCO HERITAGE SITE. How is even the mere thought of digging for oil in the park being considered. How does greed take over politics. How does greed over rule the law.

Let me just say: there are only 800 mountain gorillas left in the world. What is it going to take for the world to realise that nature is a heritage and a beautiful treasure that will carry on forever while oil is not.

Frustration, sadness and anger were all felt while watching this movie but also hope when hearing the rangers talk with passion about their park and gorillas. I could not recommend it enough!

Here is the movie's website if you want to learn more: http://virungamovie.com/

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