On the Front Line: The Rangers of Gorongosa National Park
Protecting the beautiful conservation areas of Mozambique requires courage, ability and passion. In Gorongosa National Park, a group of men and women have endured rigorous training to realize their dream of becoming Rangers.
In this 80-minute feature-length documentary, we tell the inspiring story of Rangers who are chosen to proudly wear the uniform.
In Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park, a team of 260 Rangers are "on the front line" to protect this beautiful conservation area from a host of threats such as poaching and illegal logging.
But Gorongosa has four hundred thousand hectares to protect - the Rangers urgently need additional reinforcements. Hundreds of candidates from local communities gather to participate in the intensive physical and mental examinations required to be considered eligible to become a Gorongosa Ranger, including female candidates, for the first time.
700 Participants applied for selection. And for the first time in the history of the Park, the women were able to sign up. But they will not receive any preferential treatment and will have to endure the same arduous selection process for 60 days, just like the men, to become fit and prepared for the work ahead.
The film is an inspiring story with a powerful message - how to protect Mozambique's unique and beautiful national parks and reserves.
It will be an important awareness-raising tool for both the general public and, especially, decision-makers at the highest level in the country. We hope that this film will help the Government of Mozambique to continue to make conservation one of it's national priorities.
The film's world premiere took place in Maputo on 31 July at 5 pm at the Joaquim Chissano Conference Center.
From 2:00pm, at the same venue, an Exhibition of Photographs, alluding to World Ranger Day, was opened and a silent auction took place for the Throne, a metal sculpture created by the artist Gonçalo Mabunda and made from gin traps retrieved by Gorongosa Rangers.
From 3 pm onwards, awards and diplomas were awarded to the best Rangers from all Conservation Areas in Mozambique by the Deputy Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development, Celmira da Silva, who then delivered a speech.
Also attending this event were members of Government, and the business and diplomatic communities, who then honoured the work of the Rangers of Mozambique.
As a means of celebrating the World Ranger Day, TVM and STV transmitted promotional videos alluding to the day and TVM broadcasted the film itself from 9pm.
- Raise the profile of Rangers in Mozambique and raise awareness of the need to train and equip Rangers as part of a more robust law enforcement strategy in Mozambique's Conservation Areas;
- Use the film as a vehicle to generate awareness and support of Rangers in Mozambique (and in other countries). Well selected, well equipped, with adequate salaries; - Disseminate the challenges of wildlife, conservation and the environment among Mozambicans. This will be an important moment for solidarity and a call for renewed support for the protection of Mozambique’s Conservation Areas. The need to expand the national strength of Rangers will be demonstrated.
The new law enforcement strategy and the increase in the number of Rangers resulted in 2,640 successful patrols in 3 years, in which time:
- 18,306 wire snares were removed and destroyed;
- 644 steel gin traps were removed and destroyed;
- 79 firearms were seized, including AK-47s.