Mateus Bila

Mateus Bila

Community Programme Coordinator, Peace Parks Foundation, Mozambique


My name is Mateus Bila, Community Programme Manager in MSR/PPMR. I always foresaw a world where the coexistence between men and nature is an indelible mark and, for that purpose, I joined to the conservation areas about a decade ago, initially in an integrated program supporting the communities of the coastal region of Cabo Delgado province (covering the Quirimbas National Park) focusing on the strengthening of civil society and local governance benefiting about 5.000 households from the mainland and buffer zone, after I joined to Bazaruto Archipelago National Park where I contributed substantially to the implementation of a long-term community development program (oriented towards the preservation of marine species, provision of livelihoods and preservation of the environment in coordination with the sectors of health, education, economic activities and infrastructures) covering more than 1.200 families (95% of the population of the archipelago).

At the MSR/PPMR and as a result of the interaction with the local communities and other key-actors, I note that due to the existing co-management agreement with PPF, many expectations have been raised, many challenges have been transformed into opportunities and, above all, there is an increasing availability of alternative and sustainable livelihoods that contribute to the restoration/preservation of the marine and terrestrial ecosystems that’s heritage of this pristine landscape.

My primary mission is to ensure that this conservation area continues to be managed in the best possible standards through community involvement and the primacy for the sense of belonging/ownership, where each person living inside and in the buffer zone flourishes as a person, using the resources sustainably not just due the law says to do so, but because they know the importance of preserving the natural environment and simultaneously can generate income the families, increasing significantly their quality of life.