Sun. Feb 28th, 2021

Gorongosa National Park has quite a history, from its inception 60 years ago to being battleground the subsequent Mozambique civil war, to its recent revitalization and engagement with the human community that lives among its borders. The park enlists local people in management at all levels, and focuses on developing schools and girls’ empowerment programs, too, so in this context it seems a natural fit that the park would engage residents in a new, restorative agriculture venture which also serves to reforest the slopes of Mount Gorongosa, via agroforestry. Matt Jordan is well suited to direct this project, having served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique after earning degrees in environmental engineering, and being of the belief that the fates of human societies and the natural world are intertwined, and can thrive together. Today, he serves as the Director of Sustainable Development for the park which includes overseeing projects like Gorongosa Coffee, and he answered some questions via email: his responses have been edited for brevity and clarity. Mount Gorongosa is being reforested with the help of shade grown coffee. Image courtesy of Matt Jordan. Mongabay: What crops are you planting within the park’s borders?  Matt Jordan: We plant shade-grown arabica coffee within the park’s borders, intercropped with native hardwood trees like East African mahogany (Khaya anthoteca), titi (Erythrina lisistemon), albizia (Albizia adianthifolia), muonha (Breonadia salicina), panga panga (Millettia stuhlmannii) and mussulo (Bridelia micrantha) to provide the necessary shade for the coffee trees, and to restore the rainforest. In the…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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