Earlier this year, we sat down with CustoMiiR partner Gorongosa Coffee to learn about their work to support the restoration of Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique through empowering local coffee communities.
Today, they are sharing more about how their mission comes to life through supporting and stewarding the local elephant population. We invite you to learn more about their work, coffee options – which are sourced from coffee farms in Mozambique and other sustainably-sourced Arabica beans from around the world – and explore their custom MiiR drinkware!
If you're interested in learning more about our CustoMiiR program, please head to b2b.MiiR.com or email b2b@MiiR.com.
The global elephant population is drastically declining, but in Gorongosa National Park, it’s thriving. Here’s how Gorongosa Coffee is making a difference for elephants in Mozambique through the simple act of drinking coffee.
Gorongosa National Park
At the tail end of the twentieth century, Mozambique faced a 17-year civil war, and Gorongosa National Park was caught in the crossfire. During this time, the Park’s elephant population crashed from 2,500 elephants to less than 250. Since the inception of the Gorongosa Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring Gorongosa National Park, the elephant population has had a remarkably fast recovery.
Through the dedication of the Park’s Department of Conservation, researchers, rangers, and surrounding communities, the number of elephants roaming the vast savannah has steadily climbed to more than 800 today. These elephants are living proof of how elephant populations can bounce back and overcome incredible obstacles.
To learn more about Gorongosa Coffee's Elephant's Never Forget blend, we invite you to watch this video.
Elephants are special for a myriad of reasons. Not only are they extraordinary animals due to their social complexity, intelligence, and incredible memories, but they also play a key role in shaping the ecosystems that they live in. Every creature in Gorongosa National Park depends on these “ecosystem engineers.” Elephants modify their habitat by knocking down trees, eating tall grass, and fertilizing soil – all of which affect other species that share the savannah.
Female elephants are matriarchs. In elephant societies, older females are leaders and guardians of wisdom and culture. Just like humans, elephants’ families span multiple generations. Each generation supports the next by passing down their knowledge for the benefit of the elephant population and the broader ecosystem.
Human | Wildlife Coexistence
People and elephants can run into conflict as they compete for resources like water, food, and space. Dominique Gonçalves, the manager of the Elephant Ecology Project at Gorongosa National Park, investigates elephant behavior in relation to habitat use and how elephants engage with communities surrounding the Park. She says: “I believe, and it’s been said a long time ago that conservation had to include communities, or people, or locals. The old model of conservation was people outside, but Gorongosa now brings a new model. What good to have our elephants, lions and all wildlife and habitats well, if people around are not happy?”
Dominique collaborates with her colleagues in law enforcement and sustainable development to build healthy coexistence between humans and wildlife. One nature-based implementation strategy is to construct beehive fences. Believe it or not, elephants are afraid of bees! Beehive fences deter elephants from trampling fields and eating farmers’ crops, and they provide farmers with an additional product – honey! A fence with fifteen hives can generate two to four times the annual income of most Mozambican farmers.
Elephants Never Forget
Gorongosa Coffee has dedicated its light roast – named Elephants Never Forget – to these incredible creatures and their wildlife neighbors. 100% of the profits from every bag of this blend go directly to Gorongosa National Park’s Department of Conservation, supporting activities that protect the Park’s myriad wildlife. With the help of coffee drinkers like you, their goal is to have 250,000 large mammals thriving in the Park by 2035.
Header and third image by Gorongosa Media. Second image by Brett Kuxhausen. Final image by Morgan Weber.