Addressing inequalities and accelerating SDGs
Protecting the planet and the people

Development through Biodiversity; the Virunga Case


Virunga National Park in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo offers an innovative model of how to protect a globally important natural area that is also incredibly vulnerable, due to conflict, population pressures and lack of social justice. It directly addresses issues of security, job creation, energy provision and women’s participation, all under the umbrella of the park’s primary function, which is to protect wildlife, ecosystems and their contribution to water provision, climate regulation and biological diversity. 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of EU support to Virunga. Over this period, the park has built alliances with the public and private sectors, civil society groups and other stakeholders, to focus on developing economic activities in three areas: hydropower energy production, tourism, and helping businesses grow around the park, to provide jobs and opportunities for the 4 million people who live nearby.