09 February 2021 – The Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique represents exceptional biological richness that must be protected at all costs. Gorongosa has joined the Global Coalition #UnitedforBiodiversity, thereby becoming the first institution in Africa to join the Global Coalition #UnitedforBiodiversity.
Launched by EU Commissioner for Environment Virginijus Sinkevicius on World Wildlife Day 2020, the Coalition calls for strong mobilisation of all world research centres, science and natural history museums, botanic gardens, zoos, parks, aquariums and beyond, to make their voices heard about the nature crisis. Scientist have warned that more than one million species are at risk of extinction and therefore it is extremely urgent to unite all forces to give nature one voice.
“With close to 7000 documented species of animals and plants, and landscapes that encompass nearly every habitat type found in south-eastern Africa, Gorongosa National Park represents exceptional biological richness that must be protected at all cost.”, says Dr. Piotr Naskrecki, Associate Director of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory in Gorongosa, “The park’s educational, human development, and scientific research programs ensure that the entirety of its biodiversity, from tiny endemic crustaceans to lions and elephants, will be safeguarded and appreciated by all generations to come, locally and globally.”
More than 100 institutions and organisations, such as TRAFFIC, the Natural History Museum of Madrid, the Puerto Rico Science Museum, and the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco, have already endorsed the common pledge of the Coalition, calling on all to act for nature. After the announcements of the Axios Delta and Lake Kerkini parks in Greece and the Van Gogh national park in the Netherlands, Gorongosa National Park is the fourth park in the world in the Coalition.
Gorongosa in Mozambique is perhaps Africa’s greatest wildlife restoration story. In 2008, a 20-year Public-Private Partnership was established for the joint management of GNP between the Government of Mozambique and the Carr Foundation (Gorongosa Project), a US non-profit organisation. In 2016, the Government of Mozambique approved the extension for another 25 years of joint management. By adopting a 21st Century conservation model of balancing the needs of wildlife and people, Gorongosa is protecting and saving this beautiful wilderness, returning it to its rightful place as one of Africa’s greatest national parks.
Gorongosa has been described as one of the most diverse parks on Earth, covering a vast expanse of 400 000 hectares. In recent years, the Gorongosa Project, with the support of Mozambique’s National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), has ensured the protection of a recovering population of lions in this system, successfully reduced key threats, and has been recognised as one of National Geographic’s “Last Wild Places” and by TIME Magazine as one of the “World’s Greatest Places – 2019
The Global Coalition #UnitedforBiodiversity aims at building a stronger mobilisation to raise awareness on the need to protect all forms of life, ahead of the upcoming COP 15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), when nations will adopt a new global framework to protect and restore nature, as much-needed as the Paris Agreement focusing on the climate urgency.