The Gorongosa Restoration Project, Mozambique
(Please note the location change to the Nissan Lecture Theatre, St Antony's College)
Speaker: Greg Carr received a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard in 1986. In 1999, he co-founded the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School of Government. In January of 2008, he signed a 20-year agreement with the Government of Mozambique to restore and co-manage the country’s flagship national park, Gorongosa.
The Gorongosa Restoration Project
More than 95% of the megafauna of Gorongosa National Park was killed during a generation of civil conflict that ended with a peace agreement in 1992.
But that was not Gorongosa’s largest challenge.
In addition to requiring a “re-wilding”, the culture of the Park needed to change from a Colonial era entity that excluded most Mozambicans in to a park that belongs to all of the Nation’s people and distributes the benefits equitably.
The vision for this “new style” national park was developed by President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique and Nelson Mandela of South Africa in a 1992 meeting-- the year of the Rio Earth Summit.
Since signing the co-management contract, Carr and his largely Mozambican management team have reintroduced extirpated species (overall wildlife numbers are up ten-fold); re-established eco-tourism, creating local employment; created a Biodiversity Research Center named the “E.O. Wilson Laboratory”; and, in 2015, initiated the Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa, with the aim to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the Southern limit of the Great African Rift Valley.
Meanwhile, in the “buffer zone” outside the Park, Gorongosa’s Human Development Department provides health, education and agricultural assistance to 175,000 people.
Convened by Krishna Adhikari and Chihab El-Khachab