Gorongosa’s Wildlife Rangers
The Park’s flora and fauna have rebounded in the years since the end of the civil conflict, and esp since 2004, when the Gorongosa Project started. Substantial problems remain, and in addition to scientific research and human development, the Park is committed to enforcing Mozambique’s progressive conservation law aimed at conserving the future of biodiverse ecosystems throughout the country for wildlife and for the people of Mozambique.
Much of the work of conservation in Gorongosa depends on and is entrusted to Law Enforcement – a team of 260 trained rangers led by Tsuere Buramo (Head of Law-Enforcement) and pilot Alfredo Matevele (Deputy Head of Law-Enforcement), both Mozambican.
Gorongosa, like many other protected areas around the globe, faces challenges, particularly in the areas of the illegal trade in wildlife (ivory, pangolins, skins and bushmeat) and timber. Fighting these activities are the 260-strong men and women – trained as law-enforcement officers. All our rangers are rigorously selected, and trained including in conservation and human rights law. A number of our top rangers have been awarded local and national awards for their outstanding service and also participate in various advanced trainings aboard each year.
Currently the team patrols over 11,900 km2 of habitat spanning the Park, including an additional adjacent to the Zambezi River north of the Park (since 2018) and the surrounding buffer zone around the Park. With the addition of new rangers, our efforts continue to expand to include several areas adjacent to the Park as part of a long-term vision to extend wildlife corridors “from Mountain to Mangrove” with a mosaic of Park, community conservancies, and sustainable forestry.
Rangers in addition to patrolling the landscape, are also instrumental in mobilizing local leaders and educating local communities. Many of the rangers are from the communities that they serve, helping establish long term trust. For example, post-cyclone Idai in March 2019, rangers were among the first reaching flooded communities to provide food and medical support to affected families. They are dedicated to the wellbeing of both Park and people.
As a result of our careful screening and training rangers, we now see tangible results from our efforts – the number of snares and gin-traps found within the Park perimeters declined by more than 60% over the past few years, and and during this time a number of perpetrators involved in ivory smuggling, illegal logging and pangolin poaching cases were caught and prosecuted.
Mozambique has generally been in the headlines for more organised and large-scale wildlife and forest crimes, and is considered one of the most important transit countries to the Far East for illegal wildlife trade. We strongly believe that our concerted efforts can have an impact on other areas in Mozambique, and we are proud to have a good working relationship in this regard with other parks and the Mozambican Protected Areas Authority. We have a very dedicated team and are proud of all our conservation achievements.
Advance an integrated multi-partner approach to conservation and to people-centred development. The Gorongosa Project protects the Park’s biodiversity and ecosystem services and unlocks its economic potential for the community inhabitants of the Gorongosa Buffer Zone, Sofala Province, Mozambique and further afield.
A thriving, biodiversity-rich, Greater Gorongosa conservation landscape, which supports Sofala Province as an engine for resilient and sustainable development enabling nature experiences and wellbeing for its people, enriching all of Mozambique and the world.
A Park for Peace
On 1 August, 2019 a historic ceremony was held in Gorongosa to celebrate the Cessation of Hostilities Accord between the leaders of the Government of Mozambique and the opposition Renamo Party. The accord established Gorongosa National Park (GNP) as a ‘Park for Peace’, delivering human development to the communities that share the greater landscape.