The Goma Volcano Observatory (GVO in English, OVG in French) was created in 1986. The mission of OVG is to monitor Lake Kivu and the active volcanoes of the Virunga Volcanic Province, namely Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira. OVG also carefully monitors the water of Lake Kivu, given the enormous amount of methane and carbon dioxide gases dissolved deep in its water.
In 2002, with only two seismic stations (Bulengo and Katare) and in the middle of a war in which Goma was under the control of rebel forces, OVG scientists had anticipated the eruption of Nyiragongo a few days before it happened.
OVG was initially a detached branch of the geophysics department of the Centre de Recherches en Sciences Naturelles (CRSN) in Lwiro, South Kivu. In July 2009, OVG became an autonomous institution under the direct authority of the Minister of Science.