Seven Buffer Zone communities each received a tourism revenue cheque totaling a little over 67,973 MZN from Gorongosa National Park in November.
The Park – known for being one of the most biodiverse conservation areas in Africa – holds tremendous potential for eco-tourism and currently allocates 20% of its tourism revenues to communities located in the Buffer Zone. Each community uses its tourism revenue for meeting its specific and collective needs, including local school classrooms, water stations, hospitals and other basic public infrastructure.
In this first phase, the Park delivered cheques to seven communities including Nhamacuenguere, Nhampoca, Mucombezi, Bebedo, Nhambita, Nhanguo and Tambarara. Each of the seven communities are spread across the districts of Dondo, Nhamatanda and Gorongosa.
The tourism program’s profit-sharing goals include increasing community awareness of the importance of preserving the Park’s biodiversity for it’s tourism industry and eventually including all 16 Regulados and the Natural Resources Management Committees in the Park Buffer Zone.
Ermelinda Xavier Maquenza, Director of Mozambique’s Provincial Land and Environment Services, led the ceremony. Ms Maquenza appealed to the communities that received a check to make the best use of of the profit-sharing program, to set priorities based on community needs and to ensure the value benefits everyone and not just a small group of people.
Local government officials from the districts of Dondo, Nhamatanda and Gorongosa, Park staff and employees, local community leaders and other individuals also attended the ceremony.
Story and photos by Janado Nazare Cher