ISHANGO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 6 MAY 2015: European Union commissioned instructors teach Virunga National Park rangers skills for concealment, bush craft, weapons and survival in their fight against paramilitary groups and poachers in the Park. Groups like the Hutu led FDLR and Ugandan ADF continue to make conservation problematic and dangerous inside Virunga, well known as one of the worlds most dangerous places to practice conservation. This group is a smaller subset of Rangers who will receive specialized training for a quick reaction force. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

JOMBA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 30 April 2015: Two alpha male silverback mountain gorilla from the Mpua family seen in the Jomba rainforest, Virunga National Park, DRC. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

ISHANGO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 6 MAY 2015: European Union commissioned instructors pick up a patrol of Virunga National Park rangers in the Ishango region of the park for transport back to base. The instructors are there to teach skills for VIP close protection, concealment, bush craft, weapons and survival in their fight against paramilitary groups and poachers in the Park. Groups like the Hutu led FDLR and Ugandan ADF continue to make conservation problematic and dangerous inside Virunga, well known as one of the worlds most dangerous places to practice conservation. This group is a smaller subset of Rangers who will receive specialized training for a quick reaction force. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, JANUARY 25 2015: Emmanuel De Merode, head warden of Virunga National Park seen in the Southern sector headquarters of Rumangabo. (De Merode has worked inside Virunga since 1992 and has been present for all hte trials and tribulations of Virunga. He has been head warden since 2008. He has negotiated with 2 major Rebel groups to keep access to the mountain gorillas of the region, he has dealt with the deaths of more than 150 of his Rangers. He has been a a conservation visionary in securing funding to continue the running of Virunga. De Merode was shot 4 times last year by 3 unknown men who are either linked to the FDLR rebel group or to Soco oil, a British oil compnay De Merode has been campaigning against. He was back in the park a month after he was shot. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

ISHANGO RANGER STATION, NORTHERN SECTOR, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK,DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO-7 MAY 2015: Images of elephants bathing inside Lake Edward close to the IShango Ranger station in Virunga National Park, DRC. There are only around 200 Savanah elephants left in Virunga, victims of extensive poaching campaigns since 1995. There is an effort underway by the Rangers to protect these remaining elephants and reopen the corridor to Queen Elizabeth Park in nearby Uganda to see Virunga's elephants return. Potential oil exploration in the area further threatens Virunga's elephants, with the potential oil area falling inside their corridor and habitat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

GOMA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 22 JANUARY 2015: Benadete Kahindo, 32, seen with her eldest daughter Gift and 3 of her seven children. Benadete's husband was ICCN ranger Hassan Sebuyori, 34. In 2012 Hassan was targeted, killed and beheaded by FDLR, a notorious Hutu led rebel group operating inside Virunga National Park since the time of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Benadete was forced to flee from her home after continued FDLR threats and a year later her eldest daughter Gift was raped at age 14 by the M23 rebels, a group who claimed to be opposed to FDLR. Gift gave birth to a child after the rape. Benadete's husband Hassan had been effective in stopping FDLR's bushmeat trade inside Virunga. They were angry with him for this and ambushed the ICCN vehicle in which he was travelling. FDLR dragged a wounded Hassan away with them and his headless body was discovered not far from the ambush location. His head was not recovered and his body was left as a warning to the other rangers. Benadete and her children survive on funds from the Virunga Widows fund, something dependant on donations and not guaranteed for the future. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, NORTH KIVU, DR CONGO, 2 DECEMBER 2015: ICCN Congolese conservation rangers are seen outside their primitive living quarters at their Rwindi basecamp. Rwindi is a hardship posting for the Rangers, with very primitive facilities and regular fighting between Rangers and rebel groups in the area. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic magazine.)

ISHANGO RANGER STATION, NORTHERN SECTOR, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK,DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO-9 MAY 2015: ICCN Ranger Faustin Gakuru, 25, takes a saturday time out and visits a young baboon who is a resident at the Ranger base in Ishango. This baboon was rescued after being abandoned as a baby and is now resident at the Ranger Station at Ishango. Faustin say "I am a ranger, we care for all animals so of course I come to see this baboon when I am here." Ironically, Faustin now works as a bodyguard to the Director of the Park, protecting those would protect the animals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 11 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers learn close combat protection techniques on the shores of Lake Edward. They are being trained by an EU appointed instructor in anti-poaching and counter-insurgency tactics. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, MARCH 2012: The destroyed remains of the Rwindi hotel, once a popular resort in this part of Virunga National Park, now a shell tacked on the ICCN conservation Ranger camp at Rwindi, Virunga National Park, DRC, March 8 2012. The hotel was last open in 1992 and ICCN officials hope to one day see it restored to its former glory days. This camp has been attacked by both FDLR, the Rwandan Hutu Genocidaires living illegally in Virunga as well as CNDP, a rebel break away faction of the Congolese army. Rwindi remains a harcore flashpoint for contacts between FDLR and Rangers on patrol in the Park. 9 Rangers were killed in Rwindi in 2011. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportge for GEO magazine.)

RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers and FARDC Congolese Army soldiers on long range patrol to locate and destroy FDLR, a Hutu led militia movement who fled into the park after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. FDLR have plagued Virunga ever since with their relentless exploitation of the park's resources. They are also responsible for the deaths of a number of Rangers trying to preserve the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers and FARDC Congolese Army soldiers on long range patrol to locate and destroy FDLR, a Hutu led militia movement who fled into the park after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. FDLR have plagued Virunga ever since with their relentless exploitation of the park's resources. They are also responsible for the deaths of a number of Rangers trying to preserve the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VITSHUMBI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers on long range patrol locate and destroy an illegal farm inside the boundaries of Virunga National Park. The farm belongs to FDLR, a Hutu led militia movement who fled into the park after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. FDLR have plagued Virunga ever since with their relentless exploitation of the park's resources. They are also responsible for the deaths of a number of Rangers trying to preserve the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 23 July 2014: ICCN conservation Rangers capture illegal farmers and destroy illegal agriculture inside Virunga National Park in the Rwindi sector, Democratic Republic of Congo. It is believed that these illegal farms are being used to feed FDLR, the Hutu Militia group made up of the genocidaires from the Rwandan genocide. Rwindi remains a harcore flashpoint for contacts between FDLR and Rangers on patrol in the Park. OVer 190 Rangers have died over the last 15 years as a result of these and other encounters with armed groups within the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage.)

RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 23 July 2014: ICCN conservation Rangers capture illegal farmers and destroy illegal agriculture inside Virunga National Park in the Rwindi sector, Democratic Republic of Congo. It is believed that these illegal farms are being used to feed FDLR, the Hutu Militia group made up of the genocidaires from the Rwandan genocide. Rwindi remains a harcore flashpoint for contacts between FDLR and Rangers on patrol in the Park. OVer 190 Rangers have died over the last 15 years as a result of these and other encounters with armed groups within the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER 2015: Aerial views of rebel group FDLR's illegal charcoal manufacturing camps inside Virunga National Park. FDLR are the remnants of the Hutu genicodaire's who perpetrated the Rwandan genocide in 1994. When they were chased into then Zaire by Tutsi forces, they fled into Virunga and have lived there illegally ever since. They exploit the park in any way they can and have killed a number of Virunga's rangers in the last ten years. They often work in collusion with the FARDC, the Congolese Army, who are supposed to be pursuing them. This has only made removing their presence from the park that much more difficult. At this time, they represent one of the bigger to stability and ongoing progress in Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER 2015: Aerial views of rebel group FDLR's illegal charcoal manufacturing camps inside Virunga National Park. FDLR are the remnants of the Hutu genicodaire's who perpetrated the Rwandan genocide in 1994. When they were chased into then Zaire by Tutsi forces, they fled into Virunga and have lived there illegally ever since. They exploit the park in any way they can and have killed a number of Virunga's rangers in the last ten years. They often work in collusion with the FARDC, the Congolese Army, who are supposed to be pursuing them. This has only made removing their presence from the park that much more difficult. At this time, they represent one of the bigger to stability and ongoing progress in Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 5 December 2015: Early morning scenes from the ICCN ranger base HQ at Rwindi. This is one of the poorest regions of the park, where Rangers and their families live in the worst conditions. The accomodations here were once the best in the park, a place that former President Mobuto used to like to come for holidays. The accomodations and huge numbers of animals were destroyed when Lauren Kabila and his rebel came through this region on their way to deposing Mobuto in 1997. Rwindi has never been rebuilt since that time. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 7 December 2015: The contents of FDLR rebel poachers bags, seized by ICCN Rangers in a firefight with 5 rebels moving through the Rwindi section of the park. FDLR is a rebel group formed in 1995 when Hutu genocidaires fled into then Zaire after perpetrating the Rwandan genocide. Paul Kagame's Tutsi troops pursued them and FDLR have lived inside the forests of Virunga National Park ever since. They exploit the park for any resources they can and have been the cause of a a number of ICCN ranger deaths. The contents of these bags is typical of FDLR poaching expeditions within the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 15 MAY 2015: Prisoner guilty of poaching or illegal fishing or looting seen on the inside of a ICCN conservation jail. These prisoners are all documented, given case numbers and moved on to civil authorities as quickly as possible. The probelm then becomes housing and feeding them within DR Congo's broken system. As a result most are released with small fines making the jobs of the Rangers that much more frustrating. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

ISHANGO RANGER STATION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 9 MAY 2015: General views of Lake Edward from the Ishango Ranger Station base. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

ISHANGO RANGER STATION, NORTHERN SECTOR, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK,DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO-7 MAY 2015: Images of a rain storm coming in over the mountains surrounding Lake Edward on the DRC side of the lake. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

KAVANYONGI, LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA, DRC, 4 MAY 2015: Fishing scenes from the Lake Edward village of Kavanyongi, a formerly tiny fishing hamlet which has grown to 24000 people in a region where people have been desperate to escape continued fighting. Policing this village has been a constant struggle for the rangers, who try to work with the locals to control fishing numbers and fight poaching in the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VITSHUMBI, LAKE EDWARD, DR CONGO, 28 JULY 2013: Images of fisherman at work on the Southern shores of Lake Edward, 29 July 2013. These men are amongst 30 000 other Lake Edward fisherman who utilize the lake for the livelihood of their families. The fish is eaten locally and also smoked and sent to Goma. The villagers depend on the lake for water, washing, the staple food of fishing, the transport of people and goods. Plans by Socco oil company to drill for oil in Lake Edward currently imperil all of those things. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KAVANYONGI, LAKE EDWARD, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 9 AUGUST 2013: Scenes from the fishing village of Kavanyongi on the Northern shores of Lake Edward inside Virunga National Park, DRC, 9 August 2013. This lake shore village relies on fishing for its livelihood and for all its water needs. It is the biggest village on the lake shores on the Congolese side, with a population of 30 000. SOCO, a British oil company, has acquired the rights to prospect for oil on the shores of of Lake Edward under dubious circumstances, changing Congolese law from a no prospecting in Virunga rule to allowing prospecting within one year. This prospecting block places them inside the Park, a world heritage site and Africa's first ever National Park. Drilling for oil could prove disastorous for the fishing villages all around the lake shores as well as for all tributaries carrying water for Lake Edward, the source of the nile. If the lake is poisoned, it will affect fresh water supply, fish, hippo, multiple other species as well as migrating and local bird populations and the livelihood of more than 30 000 fisherman on the Congolese side of the lake. There is also danger to the Ugandan side and to other countries who benefit from Lake Edward as a water source. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

GOMA, DR CONGO, 22 NOVEMBER 2015: A ferry boat offloads passengers and charcoal at a dock in Goma. Charcoal still represents the biggest fuel use in Goma and is part of a huge industry that threatens Virunga National Park, one of the few remaining sources of hardwood left in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 11 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers move across the Lake at the beginning of a night exercise against the FDLR militia group. They are being trained by an EU appointed instructor in anti-poaching and counter-insurgency tactics. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 11 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers move across the Lake at the beginning of a night exercise against the FDLR militia group. They are being trained by an EU appointed instructor in anti-poaching and counter-insurgency tactics. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 11 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers move out from the Lake shore at the beginning of a night exercise against the FDLR militia group. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, MARCH 2012: A combined ICCN conservation Ranger force and FARDC Congolese Army soldiers patrol both the road and inland in the Virunga National Park at Rwindi, DRC, March 8 2012. This reconnaisance patrol was conducted because of an FDLR rebel hijacking which occured on the road 2 days earlier but protecting the civilians who travel on the road through the park is now the mandate of the Rangers, a job which saw 9 Rangers killed last year. The Ranger camp has been attacked by in recent times by both FDLR, the Rwandan Hutu Genocidaires living illegally in Virunga as well as CNDP, a rebel break away faction of the Congolese army. Rwindi remains a harcore flashpoint for contacts between FDLR and Rangers on patrol in the Park. 9 Rangers were killed in Rwindi in 2011. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportge for GEO magazine.)

CHONDO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: A combined team of ICCN Congolese conservation rangers and members of the Congolese army patrol an area known to have a FDLR rebel presence, Chondo, Virunga, 12 March 2012. The FDLR are the hardcore Hutu's who were behind the Rwandan massacre of 1994. Since they fled into the DRC and the park after the Genocide, they have sown mayhem and destruction in Virunga. 140 Rangers have died defending Virunga since 1994, many at the hands of the FDLR rebels. There are regular contacts between the Rangers and FDLR, usually resulting in injuries and deaths on either side. The Rangers, with the help of the FARDC, are winning this battle but at a heavy price. In 2011 eleven Rangers died fighting the FDLR. Virunga remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to practise conservation. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

LULIMBI, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 23 JULY 2014: ICCN Conservation Rangers investigate and then deploy bloodhounds in Virunga National Park to investigate the corpse of a elephant killed in the night, Eastern DRC. The elephant had obviously been killed for its ivory, a trend on the rise across the DRC and one which makes the Rangers job very difficult. It is believed that this elephant was killed by FDLR, the Hutu genocidaires who fled into Virunga after the Rwandan genocide. They have been exploiting the park ever since, often in co-operation with the Congolese Army. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage.)

VITSHUMBI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers discover a poaching camp inside Virunga NP and then capture one of three poachers who have been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VITSHUMBI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers discover a poaching camp inside Virunga NP and then capture one of three poachers who have been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VITSHUMBI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers on long range patrol capture a poacher with a large steel trap who has been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. It is thought that this man is a Mai Mai militia member out to trap Hippo or Buffalo for meat to sell at market. He will be tried and sentenced to jail time in Goma, the nearest large city in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VITSHUMBI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers discover a poaching camp inside Virunga NP and then capture one of three poachers who have been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VITSHUMBI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers on long range patrol capture a poacher with a large steel trap who has been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. It is thought that this man is a Mai Mai militia member out to trap Hippo or Buffalo for meat to sell at market. He will be tried and sentenced to jail time in Goma, the nearest large city in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VICHUMBI, LAKE EDWARD, DR CONGO, 27 JULY 2013: Mai Mai militia thugs who tried to rob 5 fisherman had the tables turned on them when the fisherman knocked their single AK47 into the water and subdued them, Vuchimbi, Lake Edward, DR Congo, 27 July 2013. Congolese army troops are seen searching the men for Gigris, small leather pouches with supposed magical power to ward off bullets. The thieves were handed over to a combined ICCN (Congolese Conservation force) and FARDC (Congolese Army force) troop and searched and arrested. The villagers depend on the lake for water, washing, the staple food of fishing, the transport of people and goods. Plans by Socco oil company to drill for oil in Lake Edward currently imperil all of those things. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

CHONDO, LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 1 DECEMBER 2015: Scenes from the remote ICCN/FARDC camp Chondo where in June a brutal attack occured between a small ICCN/FARDC combined force and over 100 heavily armed FDLR rebels working with Mai-Mai rebels against the Ranger force. 9 FARDC soldiers were killed and 1 ICCN ranger with one seriously wounded. The rebels suffered over 20 killed and many wounded in a protracted 3 day battle. The spartan conditions of the camp are seen as well as the simple graves of those FARDC soldiers and ranger killed. Plans are underway to build an airstrip to make it easier to resupply this remote camp. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

LULIMBI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, EASTERN DR CONGO, 29 NOVEMBER 2015: Images of recovering elephant herds inside Virunga National Park. War and the resultant displacement of populations, rebel movements and the presence of the Congolese army has placed tremendous pressure on these elephant groups. Once over 5000 elephants inside Virunga, this number has been eroded down to 194 in a recent census count. A recent collaring program has placed 15 collars on elephants in the various herds and ICCN is making a concerted effort to bring numbers up again inside Virunga. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

RUMANGABO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 2 MAY 2015: Moonlit images of active volcanoes within Virunga National Park, Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira. Virunga has some of the most active volcanoes on the continent and offers tourism trips to Nyiragongo. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

KIBATI, GOMA, DEMOCRACTIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 10 FEBRUARY 2008: A contingent of ICCN Rangers and MONUC United Nations Peacekeepers from Indian Battalion 1 climb up Nyivagongo Volcano in Virunga National Park. It has been at least 7 months since this has been done due to violence in the region. The area is occupied by numerous FDLR Interhamwe troops, radicals left over from the Rwandan Genocide. They use the area for mass Charcoal production, devastating the Park. On the hike the Rangers discovered a large Charcoal production facility and destroyed it. They were accompanied by Rob Muir of the Frankfurt Zoological Society who says it is the first time in 4 years in Goma working with the Rangers that he has seen such a thing. The ICCN Rangers are cracking down on Charcoal production which is the main threat to Virunga National Park. Due to the security provided by Monuc's Indian Peacekeeper's the ICCN were able to destroy the Charcoal production site and summit the volcano, providing support to local vulcanologists for their research. Tourism on the Volcano could soon proceed again if this pattern can be secured. 4 Interhamwe cadres were seen running away but the patrol proceeded without incident. The Indian contingent were made up of primarily Sikhs, 14 ranks with 2 officers. The security Monuc are providing is making the Rangers job more possible, facing armed rebels and belligerent Congolese Army personel is that much easier with armed UN support. (Photo by Brent Stirton/call 347 386 0429.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER 2015: Aerial views of active volcano Namalagira, one of three active volcanoes in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 29 NOVEMBER 2015: Early morning aerial views of active volcano Nyiragongo, one of three active volcanoes in the region. It was this volcano that erupted in 2002 and destroyed large parts of the nearby city of Goma. It has the world's largest lava lake and is a regular attraction for tourists who make the the day climb to the summit and often overnight at the top. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 29 NOVEMBER 2015: Early morning aerial views of active volcano Nyiragongo, one of three active volcanoes in the region. It was this volcano that erupted in 2002 and destroyed large parts of the nearby city of Goma. It has the world's largest lava lake and is a regular attraction for tourists who make the the day climb to the summit and often overnight at the top. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

NYIRAGONGO VOLCANOE, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 25 APRIL 2015: A view of the border of Rwanda from the slopes of Nyiragongo volcanoe. The close proximity of the border has seen incursions of Rwandan troops into Congo a number of times since 1994, contributing to the instability of the region. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

NYIRAGONGO VOLCANOE, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 25 APRIL 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers are seen on the fog-shrouded rim of Nyiragongo volcanoe as they supervise tourists who will overnight at the top. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

NYIRAGONGO VOLCANOE, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 25 APRIL 2015: Porters wait out a rainstorm while carrying bags for tourists who will overnight at the top. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 2 MAY 2015: A rainstorm over the volcanoes within Virunga National Park, Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira. Virunga has some of the most active volcanoes on the continent and offers tourism trips to Nyiragongo. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Volcanoes dominate the landscape around Matebi Hydro-electric station. Water runs from these and other mountains into nearby rivers which the station will convert into massive power potential. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

BUKIMA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 6 AUGUST 2013: Image of the plant life in the gorilla sector of Virunga National Park, DRC, 6 August 2013. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

JOMBA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 30 APRIL 2015: Innocent Mburanumwe, head warden of the Mountain Gorilla sector of Virunga National Park. Innocent is seen interacting inside the gorilla sector at Jomba, an often difficult sector to monitor. Innocent has been interacting with the Gorilla families of Virunga for over 15 years, risking his life on many occasions to ensure their well-being against poachers and rebel groups alike. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

BUKIMA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 6 AUGUST 2013: Images of the Bageni family in the gorilla sector of Virunga National Park, DRC, 6 August 2013. The gorillas sector is currently occupied by the M23 rebel movement of the Congolese army. Despite this and a previous occupation by a previous rebel group, the gorillas continue to survive, largely due the efforts of the ICCn, the Congolese Conservation Authority. The previous Bukima camps were destroyed, first by the CNDP rebel movement in 2008 and 2009; now most recently by their followers, the M23 rebels. Despite these setbacks and the ongoing danger, the ICCN Congolese conservation rangers continue to protect the mountain gorillas of the region and to plan for tourism which will follow if peace is achieved. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

RUMANGABO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 8 DECEMBER 2015:Members of the Gorilla Doctors Vetrinarian team operate on one of the ICCN Bloodhounds who has developed a large Hematoma. The team is composed of Mike Cranefield, c0-director; Eddy Kambable Syalvha and new member Joost Philippa. Gorilla Doctors offers their services free of charge to the team in Virunga National Park, doing extensive work on gorilla welfare but also on all the other animals inside the park. Oscar, the dog in this picture, is one of a new group born inside the park, an elite group of tracking dogs used to compliment the Virunga anti-poaching teams. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, NORTH KIVU, DR CONGO, 2 DECEMBER 2015: ICCN Congolese conservation ranger Rebecca Kavahirwe Kahindo, 22, is seen in her room at the Rwindi Ranger base cleaning her weapon and posing for a portrait. Rebecca joined the ICCN for the employment opportunity, succeeding in her course above thousands of other applicant. Rwindi is a hardship posting for the Rangers, with very primitive facilities and regular fighting between Rangers and rebel groups in the area. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: ICCN conservation rangers working as a bodyguard unit wait for a visit from the Minister of the Environment at Rumangabo Ranger Headquarters. Fighting in the region between FDLR rebels and Virunga's rangers continues to be a problem and bodyguard units are assigned to key wardens in the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

CHIGERA ISLAND, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, GOMA, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER, 2015: Aerial view of Chigera Island, a Virunga National Park site in Lake Kivu. The island has recently opened to tourists, giving people in Goma an option for an interesting experience in Lake Kivua, a fifteen minute boat ride from Goma. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

CHIGERA ISLAND, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, GOMA, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER, 2015: Aerial view of Chigera Island, a Virunga National Park site in Lake Kivu. The island has recently opened to tourists, giving people in Goma an option for an interesting experience in Lake Kivua, a fifteen minute boat ride from Goma. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Congolese men lay electricity pylons for the power that will be supplied by Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Congolese men and a Belgian engineer lay electricity pylons for the power that will be supplied by Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Congolese men and a Belgian engineer lay electricity pylons for the power that will be supplied by Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Scenes around the Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Congolese workers at work inside the turbine hall at Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Scenes in the evening around the Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MUTWANGA, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 24 NOVEMBER 2015: A recently delivered baby via emergency caesarian is seen in the arms of a Congolese nurse while doctors sew up the mother in the background. Mutwanga hospital is a recent benificiary of electricity via a Virunga National Park hydro-electric scheme. The Park has a number of hydro-electric projects in the works, Mutwanga is the first of these to come online and other larger projects are about to. The availability of electricity could change the face of the region, making industry and employment possible as well as emergency services available 24 hours a day in places like Mutwanga General hospital. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

 ISHANGO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 6 MAY 2015: European Union commissioned instructors teach Virunga National Park rangers skills for concealment, bush craft, weapons and survival in their fight against paramilitary groups and poachers in the Park. Groups like the Hutu led FDLR and Ugandan ADF continue to make conservation problematic and dangerous inside Virunga, well known as one of the worlds most dangerous places to practice conservation. This group is a smaller subset of Rangers who will receive specialized training for a quick reaction force. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 JOMBA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 30 April 2015: Two alpha male silverback mountain gorilla from the Mpua family seen in the Jomba rainforest, Virunga National Park, DRC. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 ISHANGO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 6 MAY 2015: European Union commissioned instructors pick up a patrol of Virunga National Park rangers in the Ishango region of the park for transport back to base. The instructors are there to teach skills for VIP close protection, concealment, bush craft, weapons and survival in their fight against paramilitary groups and poachers in the Park. Groups like the Hutu led FDLR and Ugandan ADF continue to make conservation problematic and dangerous inside Virunga, well known as one of the worlds most dangerous places to practice conservation. This group is a smaller subset of Rangers who will receive specialized training for a quick reaction force. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, JANUARY 25 2015: Emmanuel De Merode, head warden of Virunga National Park seen in the Southern sector headquarters of Rumangabo. (De Merode has worked inside Virunga since 1992 and has been present for all hte trials and tribulations of Virunga. He has been head warden since 2008. He has negotiated with 2 major Rebel groups to keep access to the mountain gorillas of the region, he has dealt with the deaths of more than 150 of his Rangers. He has been a  a conservation visionary in securing funding to continue the running of Virunga. De Merode was shot 4 times last year by 3 unknown men who are either linked to the FDLR rebel group or to Soco oil, a British oil compnay De Merode has been campaigning against. He was back in the park a month after he was shot. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
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 ISHANGO RANGER STATION, NORTHERN SECTOR, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK,DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO-7 MAY 2015: Images of elephants bathing inside Lake Edward close to the IShango Ranger station in Virunga National Park, DRC. There are only around 200 Savanah elephants left in Virunga, victims of extensive poaching campaigns since 1995. There is an effort underway by the Rangers to protect these remaining elephants and reopen the corridor to Queen Elizabeth Park in nearby Uganda to see Virunga's elephants return. Potential oil exploration in the area further threatens Virunga's elephants, with the potential oil area falling inside their corridor and habitat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 GOMA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 22 JANUARY 2015: Benadete Kahindo, 32, seen with her eldest daughter Gift and 3 of her seven children. Benadete's husband was ICCN ranger Hassan Sebuyori, 34. In 2012 Hassan was targeted, killed and beheaded by FDLR, a notorious Hutu led rebel group operating inside Virunga National Park since the time of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Benadete was forced to flee from her home after continued FDLR threats and a year later her eldest daughter Gift was raped at age 14 by the M23 rebels, a group who claimed to be opposed to FDLR. Gift gave birth to a child after the rape. Benadete's husband Hassan had been effective in stopping FDLR's bushmeat trade inside Virunga. They were angry with him for this and ambushed the ICCN vehicle in which he was travelling. FDLR dragged a wounded Hassan away with them and his headless body was discovered not far from the ambush location. His head was not recovered and his body was left as a warning to the other rangers. Benadete and her children survive on funds from the Virunga Widows fund, something dependant on donations and not guaranteed for the future. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, NORTH KIVU, DR CONGO, 2 DECEMBER 2015: ICCN Congolese conservation rangers are seen outside their primitive living quarters at their Rwindi basecamp. Rwindi is a hardship posting for the Rangers, with very primitive facilities and regular fighting between Rangers and rebel groups in the area. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic magazine.)
 ISHANGO RANGER STATION, NORTHERN SECTOR, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK,DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO-9 MAY 2015: ICCN Ranger Faustin Gakuru, 25, takes a saturday time out and visits a young baboon who is a resident at the Ranger base in Ishango. This baboon was rescued after being abandoned as a baby and is now resident at the Ranger Station at Ishango. Faustin say "I am a ranger, we care for all animals so of course I come to see this baboon when I am here." Ironically, Faustin now works as a bodyguard to the Director of the Park, protecting those would protect the animals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 11 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers learn close combat protection techniques on the shores of Lake Edward. They are being trained by an EU appointed instructor in anti-poaching and counter-insurgency tactics. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, MARCH 2012: The destroyed remains of the Rwindi hotel, once a popular resort in this part of Virunga National Park, now a shell tacked on the ICCN conservation Ranger camp at Rwindi, Virunga National Park, DRC, March 8 2012. The hotel was last open in 1992 and ICCN officials hope to one day see it restored to its former glory days. This camp has been attacked by both FDLR, the Rwandan Hutu Genocidaires living illegally in Virunga as well as CNDP, a rebel break away faction of the Congolese army.  Rwindi remains a harcore flashpoint for contacts between FDLR and Rangers on patrol in the Park. 9 Rangers were killed in Rwindi in 2011. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportge for GEO magazine.)
 RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers and FARDC Congolese Army soldiers on long range patrol to locate and destroy FDLR, a Hutu led militia movement who fled into the park after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. FDLR have plagued Virunga ever since with their relentless exploitation of the park's resources. They are also responsible for the deaths of a number of Rangers trying to preserve the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers and FARDC Congolese Army soldiers on long range patrol to locate and destroy FDLR, a Hutu led militia movement who fled into the park after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. FDLR have plagued Virunga ever since with their relentless exploitation of the park's resources. They are also responsible for the deaths of a number of Rangers trying to preserve the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
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 VITSHUMBI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers on long range patrol locate and destroy an illegal farm inside the boundaries of Virunga National Park. The farm belongs to FDLR, a Hutu led militia movement who fled into the park after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. FDLR have plagued Virunga ever since with their relentless exploitation of the park's resources. They are also responsible for the deaths of a number of Rangers trying to preserve the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 23 July 2014: ICCN conservation Rangers capture illegal farmers and destroy illegal agriculture inside Virunga National Park in the Rwindi sector,  Democratic Republic of Congo. It is believed that these illegal farms are being used to feed FDLR, the Hutu Militia group made up of the genocidaires from the Rwandan genocide. Rwindi remains a harcore flashpoint for contacts between FDLR and Rangers on patrol in the Park. OVer 190 Rangers have died over the last 15 years as a result of these and other encounters with armed groups within the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage.)
 RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 23 July 2014: ICCN conservation Rangers capture illegal farmers and destroy illegal agriculture inside Virunga National Park in the Rwindi sector,  Democratic Republic of Congo. It is believed that these illegal farms are being used to feed FDLR, the Hutu Militia group made up of the genocidaires from the Rwandan genocide. Rwindi remains a harcore flashpoint for contacts between FDLR and Rangers on patrol in the Park. OVer 190 Rangers have died over the last 15 years as a result of these and other encounters with armed groups within the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage.)
 VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER 2015: Aerial views of rebel group FDLR's illegal charcoal manufacturing camps inside Virunga National Park. FDLR are the remnants of the Hutu genicodaire's who perpetrated the Rwandan genocide in 1994. When they were chased into then Zaire by Tutsi forces, they fled into Virunga and have lived there illegally ever since. They exploit the park in any way they can and have killed a number of Virunga's rangers in the last ten years. They often work in collusion with the FARDC, the Congolese Army, who are supposed to be pursuing them. This has only made removing their presence from the park that much more difficult. At this time, they represent one of the bigger to stability and ongoing progress in Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER 2015: Aerial views of rebel group FDLR's illegal charcoal manufacturing camps inside Virunga National Park. FDLR are the remnants of the Hutu genicodaire's who perpetrated the Rwandan genocide in 1994. When they were chased into then Zaire by Tutsi forces, they fled into Virunga and have lived there illegally ever since. They exploit the park in any way they can and have killed a number of Virunga's rangers in the last ten years. They often work in collusion with the FARDC, the Congolese Army, who are supposed to be pursuing them. This has only made removing their presence from the park that much more difficult. At this time, they represent one of the bigger to stability and ongoing progress in Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 5 December 2015: Early morning scenes from the ICCN ranger base HQ at Rwindi. This is one of the poorest regions of the park, where Rangers and their families live in the worst conditions. The accomodations here were once the best in the park, a place that former President Mobuto used to like to come for holidays. The accomodations and huge numbers of animals were destroyed when Lauren Kabila and his rebel came through this region on their way to deposing Mobuto in 1997. Rwindi has never been rebuilt since that time. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 7 December 2015: The contents of FDLR rebel poachers bags, seized by ICCN Rangers in a firefight with 5 rebels moving through the Rwindi section of the park. FDLR is a rebel group formed in 1995 when Hutu genocidaires fled into then Zaire after perpetrating the Rwandan genocide. Paul Kagame's Tutsi troops pursued them and FDLR have lived inside the forests of Virunga National Park ever since. They exploit the park for any resources they can and have been the cause of a a number of ICCN ranger deaths. The contents of these bags is typical of FDLR poaching expeditions within the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 15  MAY 2015: Prisoner guilty of poaching or illegal fishing or looting seen on the inside of a ICCN conservation jail. These prisoners are all documented, given case numbers and moved on to civil authorities as quickly as possible. The probelm then becomes housing and feeding them within DR Congo's broken system. As a result most are released with small fines making the jobs of the Rangers that much more frustrating. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 ISHANGO RANGER STATION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 9 MAY 2015: General views of Lake Edward from the Ishango Ranger Station base. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 ISHANGO RANGER STATION, NORTHERN SECTOR, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK,DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO-7 MAY 2015: Images of a rain storm coming in over the mountains surrounding Lake Edward on the DRC side of the lake. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 KAVANYONGI, LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA, DRC, 4 MAY 2015: Fishing scenes from the Lake Edward village of Kavanyongi, a formerly tiny fishing hamlet which has grown to 24000 people in a region where people have been desperate to escape continued fighting. Policing this village has been a constant struggle for the rangers, who try to work with the locals to control fishing numbers and fight poaching in the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VITSHUMBI, LAKE EDWARD, DR CONGO, 28 JULY 2013: Images of fisherman at work on the Southern shores of Lake Edward, 29 July 2013. These men are amongst 30 000 other Lake Edward fisherman who utilize the lake for the livelihood of their families. The fish is eaten locally and also smoked and sent to Goma. The villagers depend on the lake for water, washing, the staple food of fishing, the transport of people and goods. Plans by Socco oil company to drill for oil in Lake Edward currently imperil all of those things. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 KAVANYONGI, LAKE EDWARD, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 9 AUGUST 2013: Scenes from the fishing village of Kavanyongi on the Northern shores of Lake Edward inside Virunga National Park, DRC, 9 August 2013. This lake shore village relies on fishing for its livelihood and for all its water needs. It is the biggest village on the lake shores on the Congolese side, with a population of 30 000. SOCO, a British oil company, has acquired the rights to prospect for oil on the shores of of Lake Edward under dubious circumstances, changing Congolese law from a no prospecting in Virunga rule to allowing prospecting within one year. This prospecting block places them inside the Park, a world heritage site and Africa's first ever National Park. Drilling for oil could prove disastorous for the fishing villages all around the lake shores as well as for all tributaries carrying water for Lake Edward, the source of the nile. If the lake is poisoned, it will affect fresh water supply, fish, hippo, multiple other species as well as migrating and local bird populations and the livelihood of more than 30 000 fisherman on the Congolese side of the lake. There is also danger to the Ugandan side and to other countries who benefit from Lake Edward as a water source. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 GOMA, DR CONGO, 22 NOVEMBER 2015: A ferry boat offloads passengers and charcoal at a dock in Goma. Charcoal still represents the biggest fuel use in Goma and is part of a huge industry that threatens Virunga National Park, one of the few remaining sources of hardwood left in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 11 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers move across the Lake at the beginning of a night exercise against the FDLR militia group. They are being trained by an EU appointed instructor in anti-poaching and counter-insurgency tactics.  (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 11 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers move across the Lake at the beginning of a night exercise against the FDLR militia group. They are being trained by an EU appointed instructor in anti-poaching and counter-insurgency tactics.  (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 11 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers move out from the Lake shore at the beginning of a night exercise against the FDLR militia group. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, MARCH 2012: A combined ICCN conservation Ranger force and FARDC Congolese Army soldiers patrol both the road and inland in the Virunga National Park at Rwindi, DRC, March 8 2012. This reconnaisance patrol was conducted because of an FDLR rebel hijacking which occured on the road 2 days earlier but protecting the civilians who travel on the road through the park is now the mandate of the Rangers, a job which saw 9 Rangers killed last year. The Ranger camp has been attacked by in recent times by both FDLR, the Rwandan Hutu Genocidaires living illegally in Virunga as well as CNDP, a rebel break away faction of the Congolese army.  Rwindi remains a harcore flashpoint for contacts between FDLR and Rangers on patrol in the Park. 9 Rangers were killed in Rwindi in 2011. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportge for GEO magazine.)
 CHONDO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: A combined team of ICCN Congolese conservation rangers and members of the Congolese army patrol an area known to have a FDLR rebel presence, Chondo, Virunga, 12 March 2012. The FDLR are the hardcore Hutu's who were behind the Rwandan massacre of 1994. Since they fled into the DRC and the park after the Genocide, they have sown mayhem and destruction in Virunga. 140 Rangers have died defending Virunga since 1994, many at the hands of the FDLR rebels. There are regular contacts between the Rangers and FDLR, usually resulting in injuries and deaths on either side. The Rangers, with the help of the FARDC, are winning this battle but at a heavy price. In 2011 eleven Rangers died fighting the FDLR. Virunga remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to practise conservation. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)
 LULIMBI, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 23 JULY 2014: ICCN Conservation Rangers investigate and then deploy bloodhounds in Virunga National Park to investigate the corpse of a elephant killed in the night, Eastern DRC. The elephant had obviously been killed for its ivory, a trend on the rise across the DRC and one which makes the Rangers job very difficult. It is believed that this elephant was killed by FDLR, the Hutu genocidaires who fled into Virunga after the Rwandan genocide. They have been exploiting the park ever since, often in co-operation with the Congolese Army. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage.)
 VITSHUMBI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers discover a poaching camp inside Virunga NP and then capture one of three poachers who have been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VITSHUMBI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers discover a poaching camp inside Virunga NP and then capture one of three poachers who have been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VITSHUMBI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers on long range patrol capture a poacher with a large steel trap who has been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. It is thought that this man is a Mai Mai militia member out to trap Hippo or Buffalo for meat to sell at market. He will be tried and sentenced to jail time in Goma, the nearest large city in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VITSHUMBI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers discover a poaching camp inside Virunga NP and then capture one of three poachers who have been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VITSHUMBI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers on long range patrol capture a poacher with a large steel trap who has been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. It is thought that this man is a Mai Mai militia member out to trap Hippo or Buffalo for meat to sell at market. He will be tried and sentenced to jail time in Goma, the nearest large city in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VICHUMBI, LAKE EDWARD, DR CONGO, 27 JULY 2013: Mai Mai militia thugs who tried to rob 5 fisherman had the tables turned on them when the fisherman knocked their single AK47 into the water and subdued them, Vuchimbi, Lake Edward, DR Congo, 27 July 2013. Congolese army troops are seen searching the men for Gigris, small leather pouches with supposed magical power to ward off bullets. The thieves were handed over to a combined ICCN (Congolese Conservation force) and FARDC (Congolese Army force) troop and searched and arrested. The villagers depend on the lake for water, washing, the staple food of fishing, the transport of people and goods. Plans by Socco oil company to drill for oil in Lake Edward currently imperil all of those things. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 CHONDO, LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 1 DECEMBER 2015: Scenes from the remote ICCN/FARDC camp Chondo where in June a brutal attack occured between a small ICCN/FARDC combined force and over 100 heavily armed FDLR rebels working with Mai-Mai rebels against the Ranger force. 9 FARDC soldiers were killed and 1 ICCN ranger with one seriously wounded. The rebels suffered over 20 killed and many wounded in a protracted 3 day battle. The spartan conditions of the camp are seen as well as the simple graves of those FARDC soldiers and ranger killed. Plans are underway to build  an airstrip to make it easier to resupply this remote camp. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
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 LULIMBI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, EASTERN DR CONGO, 29 NOVEMBER 2015: Images of recovering elephant herds inside Virunga National Park. War and the resultant displacement of populations, rebel movements and the presence of the Congolese army has placed tremendous pressure on these elephant groups. Once over 5000 elephants inside Virunga, this number has been eroded down to 194 in a recent census count. A recent collaring program has placed 15 collars on elephants in the various herds and ICCN is making a concerted effort to bring numbers up again inside Virunga. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 RUMANGABO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 2 MAY 2015: Moonlit images of active volcanoes within Virunga National Park, Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira. Virunga has some of the most active volcanoes on the continent and offers tourism trips to Nyiragongo. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 KIBATI, GOMA, DEMOCRACTIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 10 FEBRUARY 2008: A contingent of ICCN Rangers and MONUC United Nations Peacekeepers from Indian Battalion 1 climb up Nyivagongo Volcano in Virunga National Park. It has been at least 7 months since this has been done due to violence in the region. The area is occupied by numerous FDLR Interhamwe troops, radicals left over from the Rwandan Genocide. They use the area for mass Charcoal production, devastating the Park. On the hike the Rangers discovered a large Charcoal production facility and destroyed it. They were accompanied by Rob Muir of the Frankfurt Zoological Society who says it is the first time in 4 years in Goma working with the Rangers that he has seen such a thing. The ICCN Rangers are cracking down on Charcoal production which is the main threat to Virunga National Park. Due to the security provided by Monuc's Indian Peacekeeper's the ICCN were able to destroy the Charcoal production site and summit the volcano, providing support to local vulcanologists for their research. Tourism on the Volcano could soon proceed again if this pattern can be secured. 4 Interhamwe cadres were seen running away but the patrol proceeded without incident. The Indian contingent were made up of primarily Sikhs, 14 ranks with 2 officers. The security Monuc are providing is making the Rangers job more possible, facing armed rebels and belligerent Congolese Army personel is that much easier with armed UN support.  (Photo by Brent Stirton/call 347 386 0429.)
 VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER 2015: Aerial views of active volcano Namalagira, one of three active volcanoes in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 29 NOVEMBER 2015: Early morning aerial views of active volcano Nyiragongo, one of three active volcanoes in the region. It was this volcano that erupted in 2002 and destroyed large parts of the nearby city of Goma. It has the world's largest lava lake and is a regular attraction for tourists who make the the day climb to the summit and often overnight at the top. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 29 NOVEMBER 2015: Early morning aerial views of active volcano Nyiragongo, one of three active volcanoes in the region. It was this volcano that erupted in 2002 and destroyed large parts of the nearby city of Goma. It has the world's largest lava lake and is a regular attraction for tourists who make the the day climb to the summit and often overnight at the top. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 NYIRAGONGO VOLCANOE, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 25 APRIL 2015: A view of the border of Rwanda from the slopes of Nyiragongo volcanoe. The close proximity of the border has seen incursions of Rwandan troops into Congo a number of times since 1994, contributing to the instability of the region. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 NYIRAGONGO VOLCANOE, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 25 APRIL 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers are seen on the fog-shrouded rim of Nyiragongo volcanoe as they supervise tourists who will overnight at the top. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 NYIRAGONGO VOLCANOE, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 25 APRIL 2015: Porters wait out a rainstorm while carrying bags for tourists who will overnight at the top.  (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
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 RUMANGABO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 2 MAY 2015: A rainstorm over the volcanoes within Virunga National Park, Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira. Virunga has some of the most active volcanoes on the continent and offers tourism trips to Nyiragongo. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Volcanoes dominate the landscape around Matebi Hydro-electric station. Water runs from these and other mountains into nearby rivers which the station will convert into massive power potential. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 BUKIMA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 6 AUGUST 2013: Image of the plant life in the gorilla sector of Virunga National Park, DRC, 6 August 2013. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 JOMBA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 30 APRIL 2015: Innocent Mburanumwe, head warden of the Mountain Gorilla sector of Virunga National Park. Innocent is seen interacting inside the gorilla sector at Jomba, an often difficult sector to monitor. Innocent has been interacting with the Gorilla families of Virunga for over 15 years, risking his life on many occasions to ensure their well-being against poachers and rebel groups alike. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
 BUKIMA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 6 AUGUST 2013: Images of the Bageni family in the gorilla sector of Virunga National Park, DRC, 6 August 2013. The gorillas sector is currently occupied by the M23 rebel movement of the Congolese army. Despite this and a previous occupation by a previous rebel group, the gorillas continue to survive, largely due the efforts of the ICCn, the Congolese Conservation Authority. The previous Bukima camps were destroyed, first by the CNDP rebel movement in 2008 and 2009; now most recently by their followers, the M23 rebels. Despite these setbacks and the ongoing danger, the ICCN Congolese conservation rangers continue to protect the mountain gorillas of the region and to plan for tourism which will follow if peace is achieved. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
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 RUMANGABO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 8 DECEMBER 2015:Members of the Gorilla Doctors Vetrinarian team operate on one of the ICCN Bloodhounds who has developed a large Hematoma. The team is composed of Mike Cranefield, c0-director; Eddy Kambable Syalvha and new member Joost Philippa. Gorilla Doctors offers their services free of charge to the team in Virunga National Park, doing extensive work on gorilla welfare but also on all the other animals inside the park. Oscar, the dog in this picture, is one of a new group born inside the park, an elite group of tracking dogs used to compliment the Virunga anti-poaching teams. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
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 RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, NORTH KIVU, DR CONGO, 2 DECEMBER 2015: ICCN Congolese conservation ranger Rebecca Kavahirwe Kahindo, 22, is seen in her room at the Rwindi Ranger base cleaning her weapon and posing for a portrait. Rebecca joined the ICCN for the employment opportunity, succeeding in her course above thousands of other applicant. Rwindi is a hardship posting for the Rangers, with very primitive facilities and regular fighting between Rangers and rebel groups in the area. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic magazine.)
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 VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: ICCN conservation rangers working as a bodyguard unit wait for a visit from the Minister of the Environment at Rumangabo Ranger Headquarters. Fighting in the region between FDLR rebels and Virunga's rangers continues to be a problem and bodyguard units are assigned to key wardens in the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 CHIGERA ISLAND, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, GOMA, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER, 2015: Aerial view of Chigera Island, a Virunga National Park site in Lake Kivu. The island has recently opened to tourists, giving people in Goma an option for an interesting experience in Lake Kivua, a fifteen minute boat ride from Goma. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 CHIGERA ISLAND, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, GOMA, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER, 2015: Aerial view of Chigera Island, a Virunga National Park site in Lake Kivu. The island has recently opened to tourists, giving people in Goma an option for an interesting experience in Lake Kivua, a fifteen minute boat ride from Goma. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Congolese men lay electricity pylons for the power that will be supplied by Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Congolese men and a Belgian engineer lay electricity pylons for the power that will be supplied by Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Congolese men and a Belgian engineer lay electricity pylons for the power that will be supplied by Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Scenes around the Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Congolese workers at work inside the turbine hall at Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Scenes in the evening around the Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
 MUTWANGA, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 24 NOVEMBER 2015: A recently delivered baby via emergency caesarian is seen in the arms of a Congolese nurse while doctors sew up the mother in the background. Mutwanga hospital is a recent benificiary of electricity via a Virunga National Park hydro-electric scheme. The Park has a number of hydro-electric projects in the works, Mutwanga is the first of these to come online and other larger projects are about to. The availability of electricity could change the face of the region, making industry and employment possible as well as emergency services available 24 hours a day in places like Mutwanga General hospital. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

ISHANGO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 6 MAY 2015: European Union commissioned instructors teach Virunga National Park rangers skills for concealment, bush craft, weapons and survival in their fight against paramilitary groups and poachers in the Park. Groups like the Hutu led FDLR and Ugandan ADF continue to make conservation problematic and dangerous inside Virunga, well known as one of the worlds most dangerous places to practice conservation. This group is a smaller subset of Rangers who will receive specialized training for a quick reaction force. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

JOMBA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 30 April 2015: Two alpha male silverback mountain gorilla from the Mpua family seen in the Jomba rainforest, Virunga National Park, DRC. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

ISHANGO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 6 MAY 2015: European Union commissioned instructors pick up a patrol of Virunga National Park rangers in the Ishango region of the park for transport back to base. The instructors are there to teach skills for VIP close protection, concealment, bush craft, weapons and survival in their fight against paramilitary groups and poachers in the Park. Groups like the Hutu led FDLR and Ugandan ADF continue to make conservation problematic and dangerous inside Virunga, well known as one of the worlds most dangerous places to practice conservation. This group is a smaller subset of Rangers who will receive specialized training for a quick reaction force. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, JANUARY 25 2015: Emmanuel De Merode, head warden of Virunga National Park seen in the Southern sector headquarters of Rumangabo. (De Merode has worked inside Virunga since 1992 and has been present for all hte trials and tribulations of Virunga. He has been head warden since 2008. He has negotiated with 2 major Rebel groups to keep access to the mountain gorillas of the region, he has dealt with the deaths of more than 150 of his Rangers. He has been a a conservation visionary in securing funding to continue the running of Virunga. De Merode was shot 4 times last year by 3 unknown men who are either linked to the FDLR rebel group or to Soco oil, a British oil compnay De Merode has been campaigning against. He was back in the park a month after he was shot. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

ISHANGO RANGER STATION, NORTHERN SECTOR, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK,DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO-7 MAY 2015: Images of elephants bathing inside Lake Edward close to the IShango Ranger station in Virunga National Park, DRC. There are only around 200 Savanah elephants left in Virunga, victims of extensive poaching campaigns since 1995. There is an effort underway by the Rangers to protect these remaining elephants and reopen the corridor to Queen Elizabeth Park in nearby Uganda to see Virunga's elephants return. Potential oil exploration in the area further threatens Virunga's elephants, with the potential oil area falling inside their corridor and habitat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

GOMA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 22 JANUARY 2015: Benadete Kahindo, 32, seen with her eldest daughter Gift and 3 of her seven children. Benadete's husband was ICCN ranger Hassan Sebuyori, 34. In 2012 Hassan was targeted, killed and beheaded by FDLR, a notorious Hutu led rebel group operating inside Virunga National Park since the time of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Benadete was forced to flee from her home after continued FDLR threats and a year later her eldest daughter Gift was raped at age 14 by the M23 rebels, a group who claimed to be opposed to FDLR. Gift gave birth to a child after the rape. Benadete's husband Hassan had been effective in stopping FDLR's bushmeat trade inside Virunga. They were angry with him for this and ambushed the ICCN vehicle in which he was travelling. FDLR dragged a wounded Hassan away with them and his headless body was discovered not far from the ambush location. His head was not recovered and his body was left as a warning to the other rangers. Benadete and her children survive on funds from the Virunga Widows fund, something dependant on donations and not guaranteed for the future. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, NORTH KIVU, DR CONGO, 2 DECEMBER 2015: ICCN Congolese conservation rangers are seen outside their primitive living quarters at their Rwindi basecamp. Rwindi is a hardship posting for the Rangers, with very primitive facilities and regular fighting between Rangers and rebel groups in the area. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic magazine.)

ISHANGO RANGER STATION, NORTHERN SECTOR, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK,DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO-9 MAY 2015: ICCN Ranger Faustin Gakuru, 25, takes a saturday time out and visits a young baboon who is a resident at the Ranger base in Ishango. This baboon was rescued after being abandoned as a baby and is now resident at the Ranger Station at Ishango. Faustin say "I am a ranger, we care for all animals so of course I come to see this baboon when I am here." Ironically, Faustin now works as a bodyguard to the Director of the Park, protecting those would protect the animals. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 11 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers learn close combat protection techniques on the shores of Lake Edward. They are being trained by an EU appointed instructor in anti-poaching and counter-insurgency tactics. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, MARCH 2012: The destroyed remains of the Rwindi hotel, once a popular resort in this part of Virunga National Park, now a shell tacked on the ICCN conservation Ranger camp at Rwindi, Virunga National Park, DRC, March 8 2012. The hotel was last open in 1992 and ICCN officials hope to one day see it restored to its former glory days. This camp has been attacked by both FDLR, the Rwandan Hutu Genocidaires living illegally in Virunga as well as CNDP, a rebel break away faction of the Congolese army. Rwindi remains a harcore flashpoint for contacts between FDLR and Rangers on patrol in the Park. 9 Rangers were killed in Rwindi in 2011. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportge for GEO magazine.)

RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers and FARDC Congolese Army soldiers on long range patrol to locate and destroy FDLR, a Hutu led militia movement who fled into the park after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. FDLR have plagued Virunga ever since with their relentless exploitation of the park's resources. They are also responsible for the deaths of a number of Rangers trying to preserve the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers and FARDC Congolese Army soldiers on long range patrol to locate and destroy FDLR, a Hutu led militia movement who fled into the park after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. FDLR have plagued Virunga ever since with their relentless exploitation of the park's resources. They are also responsible for the deaths of a number of Rangers trying to preserve the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VITSHUMBI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers on long range patrol locate and destroy an illegal farm inside the boundaries of Virunga National Park. The farm belongs to FDLR, a Hutu led militia movement who fled into the park after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. FDLR have plagued Virunga ever since with their relentless exploitation of the park's resources. They are also responsible for the deaths of a number of Rangers trying to preserve the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 23 July 2014: ICCN conservation Rangers capture illegal farmers and destroy illegal agriculture inside Virunga National Park in the Rwindi sector, Democratic Republic of Congo. It is believed that these illegal farms are being used to feed FDLR, the Hutu Militia group made up of the genocidaires from the Rwandan genocide. Rwindi remains a harcore flashpoint for contacts between FDLR and Rangers on patrol in the Park. OVer 190 Rangers have died over the last 15 years as a result of these and other encounters with armed groups within the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage.)

RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 23 July 2014: ICCN conservation Rangers capture illegal farmers and destroy illegal agriculture inside Virunga National Park in the Rwindi sector, Democratic Republic of Congo. It is believed that these illegal farms are being used to feed FDLR, the Hutu Militia group made up of the genocidaires from the Rwandan genocide. Rwindi remains a harcore flashpoint for contacts between FDLR and Rangers on patrol in the Park. OVer 190 Rangers have died over the last 15 years as a result of these and other encounters with armed groups within the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER 2015: Aerial views of rebel group FDLR's illegal charcoal manufacturing camps inside Virunga National Park. FDLR are the remnants of the Hutu genicodaire's who perpetrated the Rwandan genocide in 1994. When they were chased into then Zaire by Tutsi forces, they fled into Virunga and have lived there illegally ever since. They exploit the park in any way they can and have killed a number of Virunga's rangers in the last ten years. They often work in collusion with the FARDC, the Congolese Army, who are supposed to be pursuing them. This has only made removing their presence from the park that much more difficult. At this time, they represent one of the bigger to stability and ongoing progress in Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER 2015: Aerial views of rebel group FDLR's illegal charcoal manufacturing camps inside Virunga National Park. FDLR are the remnants of the Hutu genicodaire's who perpetrated the Rwandan genocide in 1994. When they were chased into then Zaire by Tutsi forces, they fled into Virunga and have lived there illegally ever since. They exploit the park in any way they can and have killed a number of Virunga's rangers in the last ten years. They often work in collusion with the FARDC, the Congolese Army, who are supposed to be pursuing them. This has only made removing their presence from the park that much more difficult. At this time, they represent one of the bigger to stability and ongoing progress in Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 5 December 2015: Early morning scenes from the ICCN ranger base HQ at Rwindi. This is one of the poorest regions of the park, where Rangers and their families live in the worst conditions. The accomodations here were once the best in the park, a place that former President Mobuto used to like to come for holidays. The accomodations and huge numbers of animals were destroyed when Lauren Kabila and his rebel came through this region on their way to deposing Mobuto in 1997. Rwindi has never been rebuilt since that time. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 7 December 2015: The contents of FDLR rebel poachers bags, seized by ICCN Rangers in a firefight with 5 rebels moving through the Rwindi section of the park. FDLR is a rebel group formed in 1995 when Hutu genocidaires fled into then Zaire after perpetrating the Rwandan genocide. Paul Kagame's Tutsi troops pursued them and FDLR have lived inside the forests of Virunga National Park ever since. They exploit the park for any resources they can and have been the cause of a a number of ICCN ranger deaths. The contents of these bags is typical of FDLR poaching expeditions within the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 15 MAY 2015: Prisoner guilty of poaching or illegal fishing or looting seen on the inside of a ICCN conservation jail. These prisoners are all documented, given case numbers and moved on to civil authorities as quickly as possible. The probelm then becomes housing and feeding them within DR Congo's broken system. As a result most are released with small fines making the jobs of the Rangers that much more frustrating. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

ISHANGO RANGER STATION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 9 MAY 2015: General views of Lake Edward from the Ishango Ranger Station base. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

ISHANGO RANGER STATION, NORTHERN SECTOR, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK,DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO-7 MAY 2015: Images of a rain storm coming in over the mountains surrounding Lake Edward on the DRC side of the lake. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

KAVANYONGI, LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA, DRC, 4 MAY 2015: Fishing scenes from the Lake Edward village of Kavanyongi, a formerly tiny fishing hamlet which has grown to 24000 people in a region where people have been desperate to escape continued fighting. Policing this village has been a constant struggle for the rangers, who try to work with the locals to control fishing numbers and fight poaching in the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VITSHUMBI, LAKE EDWARD, DR CONGO, 28 JULY 2013: Images of fisherman at work on the Southern shores of Lake Edward, 29 July 2013. These men are amongst 30 000 other Lake Edward fisherman who utilize the lake for the livelihood of their families. The fish is eaten locally and also smoked and sent to Goma. The villagers depend on the lake for water, washing, the staple food of fishing, the transport of people and goods. Plans by Socco oil company to drill for oil in Lake Edward currently imperil all of those things. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KAVANYONGI, LAKE EDWARD, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 9 AUGUST 2013: Scenes from the fishing village of Kavanyongi on the Northern shores of Lake Edward inside Virunga National Park, DRC, 9 August 2013. This lake shore village relies on fishing for its livelihood and for all its water needs. It is the biggest village on the lake shores on the Congolese side, with a population of 30 000. SOCO, a British oil company, has acquired the rights to prospect for oil on the shores of of Lake Edward under dubious circumstances, changing Congolese law from a no prospecting in Virunga rule to allowing prospecting within one year. This prospecting block places them inside the Park, a world heritage site and Africa's first ever National Park. Drilling for oil could prove disastorous for the fishing villages all around the lake shores as well as for all tributaries carrying water for Lake Edward, the source of the nile. If the lake is poisoned, it will affect fresh water supply, fish, hippo, multiple other species as well as migrating and local bird populations and the livelihood of more than 30 000 fisherman on the Congolese side of the lake. There is also danger to the Ugandan side and to other countries who benefit from Lake Edward as a water source. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

GOMA, DR CONGO, 22 NOVEMBER 2015: A ferry boat offloads passengers and charcoal at a dock in Goma. Charcoal still represents the biggest fuel use in Goma and is part of a huge industry that threatens Virunga National Park, one of the few remaining sources of hardwood left in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 11 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers move across the Lake at the beginning of a night exercise against the FDLR militia group. They are being trained by an EU appointed instructor in anti-poaching and counter-insurgency tactics. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 11 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers move across the Lake at the beginning of a night exercise against the FDLR militia group. They are being trained by an EU appointed instructor in anti-poaching and counter-insurgency tactics. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 11 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers move out from the Lake shore at the beginning of a night exercise against the FDLR militia group. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, MARCH 2012: A combined ICCN conservation Ranger force and FARDC Congolese Army soldiers patrol both the road and inland in the Virunga National Park at Rwindi, DRC, March 8 2012. This reconnaisance patrol was conducted because of an FDLR rebel hijacking which occured on the road 2 days earlier but protecting the civilians who travel on the road through the park is now the mandate of the Rangers, a job which saw 9 Rangers killed last year. The Ranger camp has been attacked by in recent times by both FDLR, the Rwandan Hutu Genocidaires living illegally in Virunga as well as CNDP, a rebel break away faction of the Congolese army. Rwindi remains a harcore flashpoint for contacts between FDLR and Rangers on patrol in the Park. 9 Rangers were killed in Rwindi in 2011. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportge for GEO magazine.)

CHONDO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: A combined team of ICCN Congolese conservation rangers and members of the Congolese army patrol an area known to have a FDLR rebel presence, Chondo, Virunga, 12 March 2012. The FDLR are the hardcore Hutu's who were behind the Rwandan massacre of 1994. Since they fled into the DRC and the park after the Genocide, they have sown mayhem and destruction in Virunga. 140 Rangers have died defending Virunga since 1994, many at the hands of the FDLR rebels. There are regular contacts between the Rangers and FDLR, usually resulting in injuries and deaths on either side. The Rangers, with the help of the FARDC, are winning this battle but at a heavy price. In 2011 eleven Rangers died fighting the FDLR. Virunga remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to practise conservation. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for GEO magazine.)

LULIMBI, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 23 JULY 2014: ICCN Conservation Rangers investigate and then deploy bloodhounds in Virunga National Park to investigate the corpse of a elephant killed in the night, Eastern DRC. The elephant had obviously been killed for its ivory, a trend on the rise across the DRC and one which makes the Rangers job very difficult. It is believed that this elephant was killed by FDLR, the Hutu genocidaires who fled into Virunga after the Rwandan genocide. They have been exploiting the park ever since, often in co-operation with the Congolese Army. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage.)

VITSHUMBI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers discover a poaching camp inside Virunga NP and then capture one of three poachers who have been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VITSHUMBI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers discover a poaching camp inside Virunga NP and then capture one of three poachers who have been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VITSHUMBI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers on long range patrol capture a poacher with a large steel trap who has been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. It is thought that this man is a Mai Mai militia member out to trap Hippo or Buffalo for meat to sell at market. He will be tried and sentenced to jail time in Goma, the nearest large city in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VITSHUMBI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers discover a poaching camp inside Virunga NP and then capture one of three poachers who have been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VITSHUMBI REGION, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 17 MAY 2015: ICCN conservation rangers on long range patrol capture a poacher with a large steel trap who has been using this place to poach animal illegally inside Virunga. It is thought that this man is a Mai Mai militia member out to trap Hippo or Buffalo for meat to sell at market. He will be tried and sentenced to jail time in Goma, the nearest large city in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

VICHUMBI, LAKE EDWARD, DR CONGO, 27 JULY 2013: Mai Mai militia thugs who tried to rob 5 fisherman had the tables turned on them when the fisherman knocked their single AK47 into the water and subdued them, Vuchimbi, Lake Edward, DR Congo, 27 July 2013. Congolese army troops are seen searching the men for Gigris, small leather pouches with supposed magical power to ward off bullets. The thieves were handed over to a combined ICCN (Congolese Conservation force) and FARDC (Congolese Army force) troop and searched and arrested. The villagers depend on the lake for water, washing, the staple food of fishing, the transport of people and goods. Plans by Socco oil company to drill for oil in Lake Edward currently imperil all of those things. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

CHONDO, LAKE EDWARD, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 1 DECEMBER 2015: Scenes from the remote ICCN/FARDC camp Chondo where in June a brutal attack occured between a small ICCN/FARDC combined force and over 100 heavily armed FDLR rebels working with Mai-Mai rebels against the Ranger force. 9 FARDC soldiers were killed and 1 ICCN ranger with one seriously wounded. The rebels suffered over 20 killed and many wounded in a protracted 3 day battle. The spartan conditions of the camp are seen as well as the simple graves of those FARDC soldiers and ranger killed. Plans are underway to build an airstrip to make it easier to resupply this remote camp. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

LULIMBI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, EASTERN DR CONGO, 29 NOVEMBER 2015: Images of recovering elephant herds inside Virunga National Park. War and the resultant displacement of populations, rebel movements and the presence of the Congolese army has placed tremendous pressure on these elephant groups. Once over 5000 elephants inside Virunga, this number has been eroded down to 194 in a recent census count. A recent collaring program has placed 15 collars on elephants in the various herds and ICCN is making a concerted effort to bring numbers up again inside Virunga. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

RUMANGABO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 2 MAY 2015: Moonlit images of active volcanoes within Virunga National Park, Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira. Virunga has some of the most active volcanoes on the continent and offers tourism trips to Nyiragongo. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

KIBATI, GOMA, DEMOCRACTIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 10 FEBRUARY 2008: A contingent of ICCN Rangers and MONUC United Nations Peacekeepers from Indian Battalion 1 climb up Nyivagongo Volcano in Virunga National Park. It has been at least 7 months since this has been done due to violence in the region. The area is occupied by numerous FDLR Interhamwe troops, radicals left over from the Rwandan Genocide. They use the area for mass Charcoal production, devastating the Park. On the hike the Rangers discovered a large Charcoal production facility and destroyed it. They were accompanied by Rob Muir of the Frankfurt Zoological Society who says it is the first time in 4 years in Goma working with the Rangers that he has seen such a thing. The ICCN Rangers are cracking down on Charcoal production which is the main threat to Virunga National Park. Due to the security provided by Monuc's Indian Peacekeeper's the ICCN were able to destroy the Charcoal production site and summit the volcano, providing support to local vulcanologists for their research. Tourism on the Volcano could soon proceed again if this pattern can be secured. 4 Interhamwe cadres were seen running away but the patrol proceeded without incident. The Indian contingent were made up of primarily Sikhs, 14 ranks with 2 officers. The security Monuc are providing is making the Rangers job more possible, facing armed rebels and belligerent Congolese Army personel is that much easier with armed UN support. (Photo by Brent Stirton/call 347 386 0429.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER 2015: Aerial views of active volcano Namalagira, one of three active volcanoes in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 29 NOVEMBER 2015: Early morning aerial views of active volcano Nyiragongo, one of three active volcanoes in the region. It was this volcano that erupted in 2002 and destroyed large parts of the nearby city of Goma. It has the world's largest lava lake and is a regular attraction for tourists who make the the day climb to the summit and often overnight at the top. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 29 NOVEMBER 2015: Early morning aerial views of active volcano Nyiragongo, one of three active volcanoes in the region. It was this volcano that erupted in 2002 and destroyed large parts of the nearby city of Goma. It has the world's largest lava lake and is a regular attraction for tourists who make the the day climb to the summit and often overnight at the top. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

NYIRAGONGO VOLCANOE, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 25 APRIL 2015: A view of the border of Rwanda from the slopes of Nyiragongo volcanoe. The close proximity of the border has seen incursions of Rwandan troops into Congo a number of times since 1994, contributing to the instability of the region. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

NYIRAGONGO VOLCANOE, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 25 APRIL 2015: ICCN conservation Rangers are seen on the fog-shrouded rim of Nyiragongo volcanoe as they supervise tourists who will overnight at the top. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

NYIRAGONGO VOLCANOE, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 25 APRIL 2015: Porters wait out a rainstorm while carrying bags for tourists who will overnight at the top. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 2 MAY 2015: A rainstorm over the volcanoes within Virunga National Park, Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira. Virunga has some of the most active volcanoes on the continent and offers tourism trips to Nyiragongo. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Volcanoes dominate the landscape around Matebi Hydro-electric station. Water runs from these and other mountains into nearby rivers which the station will convert into massive power potential. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: A view of the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Namalagira inside Virunga National Park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

BUKIMA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 6 AUGUST 2013: Image of the plant life in the gorilla sector of Virunga National Park, DRC, 6 August 2013. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

JOMBA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 30 APRIL 2015: Innocent Mburanumwe, head warden of the Mountain Gorilla sector of Virunga National Park. Innocent is seen interacting inside the gorilla sector at Jomba, an often difficult sector to monitor. Innocent has been interacting with the Gorilla families of Virunga for over 15 years, risking his life on many occasions to ensure their well-being against poachers and rebel groups alike. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

BUKIMA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC, 6 AUGUST 2013: Images of the Bageni family in the gorilla sector of Virunga National Park, DRC, 6 August 2013. The gorillas sector is currently occupied by the M23 rebel movement of the Congolese army. Despite this and a previous occupation by a previous rebel group, the gorillas continue to survive, largely due the efforts of the ICCn, the Congolese Conservation Authority. The previous Bukima camps were destroyed, first by the CNDP rebel movement in 2008 and 2009; now most recently by their followers, the M23 rebels. Despite these setbacks and the ongoing danger, the ICCN Congolese conservation rangers continue to protect the mountain gorillas of the region and to plan for tourism which will follow if peace is achieved. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

RUMANGABO, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 8 DECEMBER 2015:Members of the Gorilla Doctors Vetrinarian team operate on one of the ICCN Bloodhounds who has developed a large Hematoma. The team is composed of Mike Cranefield, c0-director; Eddy Kambable Syalvha and new member Joost Philippa. Gorilla Doctors offers their services free of charge to the team in Virunga National Park, doing extensive work on gorilla welfare but also on all the other animals inside the park. Oscar, the dog in this picture, is one of a new group born inside the park, an elite group of tracking dogs used to compliment the Virunga anti-poaching teams. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)

RWINDI, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, NORTH KIVU, DR CONGO, 2 DECEMBER 2015: ICCN Congolese conservation ranger Rebecca Kavahirwe Kahindo, 22, is seen in her room at the Rwindi Ranger base cleaning her weapon and posing for a portrait. Rebecca joined the ICCN for the employment opportunity, succeeding in her course above thousands of other applicant. Rwindi is a hardship posting for the Rangers, with very primitive facilities and regular fighting between Rangers and rebel groups in the area. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic magazine.)

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DR CONGO, 26 NOVEMBER 2015: ICCN conservation rangers working as a bodyguard unit wait for a visit from the Minister of the Environment at Rumangabo Ranger Headquarters. Fighting in the region between FDLR rebels and Virunga's rangers continues to be a problem and bodyguard units are assigned to key wardens in the park. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

CHIGERA ISLAND, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, GOMA, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER, 2015: Aerial view of Chigera Island, a Virunga National Park site in Lake Kivu. The island has recently opened to tourists, giving people in Goma an option for an interesting experience in Lake Kivua, a fifteen minute boat ride from Goma. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

CHIGERA ISLAND, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, GOMA, DR CONGO, 23 NOVEMBER, 2015: Aerial view of Chigera Island, a Virunga National Park site in Lake Kivu. The island has recently opened to tourists, giving people in Goma an option for an interesting experience in Lake Kivua, a fifteen minute boat ride from Goma. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

RUMANGABO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 28 NOVEMBER 2015: The funeral of ICCN Ranger Theodore Mbusa Matofali, 27, after a tragic car accident which left him dead from head injuries. Over 150 ICCN rangers have died in the course of their duties in Virunga National Park, most of those deaths have resulted from conflict. The Rangers have a dangerous job, often dealing with rebel movements, paramilitary Mai-Mai groups as well as the Congolese army all in the name of conservation in this contentious region of the DRC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Congolese men lay electricity pylons for the power that will be supplied by Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Congolese men and a Belgian engineer lay electricity pylons for the power that will be supplied by Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Congolese men and a Belgian engineer lay electricity pylons for the power that will be supplied by Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Scenes around the Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Congolese workers at work inside the turbine hall at Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MATEBI, EASTERN DR CONGO, 18 NOVEMBER 2015: Scenes in the evening around the Matebi Hydro-electric station. The powerstation is an initiative of Virunga National Park and when it comes online in early 2016, it will supply over 13 Kilowatts of power to the region. The nearest city is Goma, which uses a quarter of the power that will be created by Matebi. The electricity generated will be used to change the face on industry in the region as well as the daily lives of the population. The new opportunities this will provide for employment is also expected to be a game-changer for peace in this extremely impoverished region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

MUTWANGA, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 24 NOVEMBER 2015: A recently delivered baby via emergency caesarian is seen in the arms of a Congolese nurse while doctors sew up the mother in the background. Mutwanga hospital is a recent benificiary of electricity via a Virunga National Park hydro-electric scheme. The Park has a number of hydro-electric projects in the works, Mutwanga is the first of these to come online and other larger projects are about to. The availability of electricity could change the face of the region, making industry and employment possible as well as emergency services available 24 hours a day in places like Mutwanga General hospital. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

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