European Year for Development: Debate on Threats to the African Virunga National Park (DRC)


European Parliament, PR Newswire StarAfrica

Date Published

Translated from French by an automated online translation service, so please excuse the roughness. See link for original. Thank you to Anne Dillon for volunteering her time to find these French articles and doing the online translating.


MEPs will ask the Commission how it intends Wednesday night to help protect the Virunga 

National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo, founded in 1925, World Heritage of UNESCO  since 1979, and refuge of mountain gorillas threatened by the dangers caused by oil exploration, conflict, and corruption. They also discuss earlier in the afternoon the results of the European Year for development.
The debate on the protection of Virunga, the richest biodiversity in the national parks of Africa,  will begin in the evening (around 21.30). A resolution will be voted on this topic during the second session of Parliament in December.
MEPs will also discuss the results of the European Year for Development Commissioner Neven Mimica and the Council immediately after the votes, to 19.30. The European Year for Development aimed to raise awareness that global cooperation occurs in some of the poorest countries in the world and its importance for the Europeans themselves. The slogan of the Year was “Our world, our dignity, our future.”
The closing event of this initiative will be held December 9 in Luxembourg.
(Note to Editors on Virunga Park)
Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), on the border with Uganda, was established in 1925 and has been strongly supported over the years by the EU, its biggest donor. Virunga is reputed to be the most biologically diverse area in Africa and the habitat of mountain gorillas, elephants, and lions in danger in a landscape which includes volcanoes, glaciers, lakes, and plains. By supporting the reconstruction of infrastructure and increasing security in the park, as well as establishing a training program for rangers and park managers, the 
EU has contributed to the recovery of tourism in the eastern part of DRC. According to Commission data, tourism in the Virunga park has generated millions of euros of income, and has created jobs and stimulated economic activity.