Not long ago, as the human population around Mozambique’s Moribane Forest Reserve grew and encroached on the forest, conflicts with elephants increased as the animals ravaged farm plots and banana groves. But with help from a Mozambique-U.K. foundation and the World Bank, residents of the Mpunga area turned a liability into an asset and used the elephants as a draw for foreign tourists.
In this video — the second runner-up in the 2015 Yale Environment 360 Video Contest — filmmaker Denise Dragiewicz focuses on the villagers who made the ecotourism complex, known as Ndzou Camp, happen. As the residents explain, the benefits of Ndzou Camp, which opened in 2010, go well beyond the creation of 20 full- and part-time jobs. The revenue the camp provides has helped open a school and expand the horizons of women long kept down in this male-dominated, polygamous culture. “What I think will help the community is if we have more schools,” says 21-year-old Rute Fernando Ranguana, who works at the camp and now plans to finish high school and go to college. “Then things will change.”