Virunga National Park: An Engine for Green Growth in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, faces some of the toughest development challenges anywhere. Africa’s oldest national park – Virunga – is located there, within one day’s walk for four million people. As documented in the award-winning film, Virunga has had to tackle extraordinary challenges posed by refugees, militias, corruption, and poverty. Yet emerging from those challenges, the park is becoming an engine for green growth that is transforming the region by providing access to energy, investing in roads and infrastructure, and creating jobs and income opportunities.
The plans for the future are ambitious. Virunga SARL, an Independent Power Producer, produces 12MW of hydropower today and has plans to reach 100 MW. If you are interested in rural energy, fragility, post conflict issues, governance, conservation, or forestry, you will enjoy this talk with Cosma Wilungula, Director General of the ICCN and Emmanuel de Mérode, Director of the Virunga National Park.
The World Bank’s Environment and Natural Resources team recently produced a video series to tell the story of forest communities in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Mozambique, and the Republic of Congo. These videos project hope for the future.