Matt has been intrigued by natural systems for as long as he can remember. His fascination turned into investigation while studying a dual undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Portland, Oregon and a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Texas.
What he discovered was a simple lesson - that the fates of human societies and the natural world are intertwined. Pulled by a desire to be of service to the world, Matt undertook various roles he hoped would fit the bill, like researching grey-water recycling systems in Beijing and working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique. The latter was where he found his true calling.
Today, he serves as the CEO of Our Gorongosa and the Gorongosa Trust, and is working to create a world where people and the planet thrive together..
CEO of Gorongosa Trust, Matt Jordan, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss social enterprise + wildlife conservation at Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. One of the most biodiverse places on the planet
This conversation provides great insight into a public / private partnership with a strong philanthropic underpinning that simultaneously drives forward human development and wildlife conservation at scale — within a challenging context that in recent years has included conflict, local fighting, a commodities crash, a currency devaluation and a massive cyclone.
A focus on forestry, ecotourism and agribusiness has resulted in robust social enterprise activities that incorporate local communities while helping tackle climate change.
There are 200,000 people around Gorongosa National Park and 80% of them are subsistence farmers living on under $2 a day. They are vulnerable to malnutrition, poor education and other challenges.
Creating small businesses, helping with skills and fostering greater access to finance helps establish the ‘enabling’ conditions that transform livelihoods for the long-term.
Matt’s key takeaway: Be part of something that creates a world where people and planet thrive together!
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Gorongosa National Park - Website