Mozambique: Paradise Lost, and found?

Janeen Heath, Pulitzer Center

Tune in this Sunday to CBS "60 Minutes"


This Sunday, October 26, the news program "60 Minutes" is airing a story on Gorongosa National Park, reported this summer by CBS journalist Scott Pelley, about American philanthropist Greg Carr's efforts to bring the destroyed gem back to life. Tune in at 7:00 p.m. EST to CBS, and make sure to also visit the Pulitzer Center's related reporting to explore this story's beginning. If you are unable to watch the show live, you should be able to see it online at the 60 Minutes website after it airs. Or you can find a podcast on their Podcast Page. This very topic has been the focus of extensive Pulitzer Center reporting.


Before the Mozambican civil war, Gorongosa National Park was among the top destinations in Africa, with a higher concentration of animals than on the famed Serengeti Plain. But during the war, soldiers and other poachers killed these vast herds, planted landmines and destroyed the park's infrastructure. By the 1990s, the park was all but abandoned. ... The Pulitzer Center funded several journalists in 2006 to do a multi-country series about environment and conflict, looking at Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Mozambique. Their reporting put them in touch with Carr who was working to restore the park in Mozambique.


His efforts, he believed, would help bring tourism dollars back and lift the region out of poverty. Listen to a 2007 PRI The World interview with Greg Carr in which he discusses his plans for his 40 million fortune. Less than a year later in January, 2008, the Carr Foundation signed a 20-year contract with the Mozambique government to co-manage the Park. For months, Pulitzer Center journalists Stephanie Hanes and Jeffrey Barbee, along with videographer Steve Sapienza, reported on Carr and Gorongosa, looking at the intersection of human rights, environmental preservation and economic development – and at the challenges of western interventions in Africa.


Their reports appeared in Smithsonian Magazine and on the PBS show Foreign Exchange, then hosted by Fareed Zakaria. Check out all their reporting at Pulitzer Center's website. Stephanie has continued her own reporting on the subject, with frequent visits to Gorongosa this year thanks to the fellowship she won from the Alicia Patterson Foundation.