The Rangers Risking Their Lives For Virunga’s Gorillas

Virunga National Park is run as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the National Park Authority (ICCN) of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Virunga Foundation. The fund is a UK-based charity that exists to help protect flora and fauna of the park, as well as the local communities that live near Virunga’s boundary. The PPP aims to reach international standards in conservation and development programme management and to increase the institutional and financial sustainability of the park and its associated projects.

The Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) is the government’s National Parks Authority with a legal mandate to enforce the conservation laws that are designed to protect Congo’s flora and fauna. About 65% of Virunga’s staff, including all the rangers, are government officers.

Virunga Foundation formerly known as Africa Conservation Fund is a UK-registered charity created in 2005 to help protect flora and fauna of Virunga National Park. Since then, Virunga Foundation has worked in close partnership with the ICCN to raise global awareness about Virunga. Virunga Foundation has provided technical skills and solicited and secured funds to pay for improvements to the park’s wildlife protection systems and infrastructure. These investments have yielded tangible benefits to the park and people of North Kivu. Virunga Foundation has a management contract with ICCN through 2021 to help sustainably develop and manage the park. Much of Virunga Foundation’s funding has been secured from European Union. Virunga Foundation submits annual audit reports to the Charities Commission and Companies House in the United Kingdom.

Virunga Fund Inc. (VFI) is a U.S.-based charity that exists to support conservation of Virunga National Park. VFI is a Section 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organisation and a “public charity” for U.S. federal tax purposes. VFI makes grants from time to time to other organisations, like Virunga Foundation, for specific projects that further VFI’s mission and are consistent with the donor’s stated intent. VFI retains discretion of and control over the use of gifts and does not accept gifts that must in all events be transferred to other organisations. Donations to Virunga Fund are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

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