Synopsis: Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique has become one of Africa’s most celebrated wildlife restoration stories. After a decade of renewed protection, Gorongosa’s large mammal population has increased 10-fold to over 100,000 animals. But the Park must also find a way to co-exist with the 200,000 people living in surrounding communities.
Dominique Gonçalves, a young African elephant ecologist shares the inspiring story of how Gorongosa is becoming a new model for wildlife conservation and community development. By bringing large-scale, long-term health care, agriculture support, and girls’ education to surrounding communities, Gorongosa is redefining the identity and purpose of this national park.
People need hope to get motivated to act. But hopeful conservation stories are hard to find these days. Gorongosa is a rare exception. Although it faces many of the same challenges as other protected areas in Africa, it’s a model for potential solutions.
Despite what you might think after watching all those beautiful nature documentaries, lots of people live in and around Africa’s wild places. They need space and resources. They and their children need good health care and nutritious food to survive and thrive, and they need education in order to fulfill their potential. They share remote, rural landscapes with the iconic animals that we associate with “Wild Africa”. The big question is: can the needs of both be satisfied?
After more than a decade making documentary films at National Geographic Television, I joined the Greg Carr Foundation in 2012 to help tell the story of Gorongosa National Park, an inspirational wilderness-restoration and community-development project in Mozambique. Here, I lead a small in-house team making impact-driven films targeted to key audiences across broadcast, digital, and social media platforms. We also work with external media partners by facilitating their productions or sharing our video/photo archive. Always seeking new ways to reach people with this uplifting story.