It is estimated that more than 30,000 people are living in the Gilé National Park’s buffer zone.
The majority of the inhabitants, as in the entire northern part of the Zambezia Province, belong to the Elomwé ethnic group, one of the twenty recognized ethnic groups in Mozambique.
The most spoken language is Lomwé, although Portuguese is widespread.
The majority of the population in the District of Gilé is Catholic and, in the District of Pebane, due to KiSwahili influences along the coast, the majority of the population is Muslim.
The scholar rate in Zambezia is one of the lowest in Mozambique and it is estimated that only about 30% of the population went to school.
Most of the population in the Gilé District depends on livelihood farming, while, in the coastal region of Pebane District, artisanal fishing represents a relevant economic resource for local residents.
The main form of nourishment comes from manioc, corn, rice, sweet potato, peanuts and few vegetables. The cash crops are mainly cashew nuts, peanuts, sorghum and sunflower.
During the last decades, cashew nut production has undergone several constraints that severely reduced production.
The presence of livestock is low due to the scarcity of lean pasture, the tsetse fly and the lack of breeding culture.
The Gilé National Park represents a unique example nationwide as is the only uninhabited protected area in Mozambique.
Despite this, human pressure around the protected area is constant and mainly represented by deforestation, the expansion of cultivated fields (machambas) through slash and burn agricultural practices and illegal poaching and fishing.
In order to mitigate the illegal expiation of resources, Gilé National Park is involved in the development of community cooperation activities, development of sustainable resource use through best practices and the implementation of environmental education in the surrounding communities and in schools.
Our activities foresee the highest possible involvement of the population through the creation of a Natural Resources Management Committee (Comité de Gestão dos Recursos Naturais, CGRNs) and training of technicians on key topics such as conservation agriculture, beekeeping, sustainable use of natural resources (for example mushrooms) and more.
We care about the respect of local traditions with an eye to innovative techniques and the growth of new generations.