Global Witness is a non-profit organization that investigates and campaigns to prevent natural resource-related conflict, corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses. They are responsible for exposing how ‘blood diamonds’ fuelled conflict in Angola, Liberia and across Africa and introduced the notion into the consciousness of consumers. Their research was later used for the 2006 blockbuster ‘Blood Diamond.’
Their investigations in Liberia played a central role in ending the brutal civil war by closing down President Charles Taylor’s source of finance, which then lead to Liberian timber and Charles Taylor arrests and convictions of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Currently, Global Witness is launching a campaign and investigation to pressure Soco company to rule out any further oil exploration in Virunga National Park. The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, yet it has an immense wealth of natural resources, making it a target for predatory practices.
The oil exploration at Virunga National Park threatens the home to 220 critically endangered mountain gorillas that make up a quarter of the remaining population globally. The park is uniquely home to the most bird species and mammals in all of Africa–all which are threatened by the oil drilling.
Grant #1 – April 2015
Empowers Africa made a grant to Global Witness to continue its fight to protect the Virunga National Park in the DRC. The funds will be used for salary support of a new campaigner who will continue advocacy work in the UK and Congo to hold Soco accountable for its actions, and to pressure the company to categorically rule out further oil exploration in the park. The grant from Empowers Africa will assist in raising the profile of the issues facing Virunga National Park and the threat from oil exploration.
Grant #2 – July 2016
Empowers Africa made a grant to Global Witness to continue its fight to protect the Virunga National Park in the DRC. The grant from Empowers Africa will assist in raising the profile of the issues facing Virunga National Park and the threat from oil exploration.