Hon. Minister Paula Francisco Coelho

Our EPI Friend of the Month is Angola’s Minister of the Environment, Paula Francisco Coelho, who has championed the cause of elephant conservation in her country.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job?

Being out in the field, and making sure that my personal contribution will make a difference to the future, and help ensure the protection of biodiversity in Angola.

…and the most difficult aspect?

Fighting poaching and other environmental crimes. We need to do much more to save the planet.

Can we be optimistic about the future of elephants in Angola?

Indeed! We are all working together on that.

Angola faces huge environmental challenges- climate change, shortages of water, bad conditions in urban slums. Do you really have time to also think about wildlife?

Despite all the challenges, we need to save wildlife, for us, and for future generations. We tackle all environmental problems together. 

And finally, where would you advise a stranger is the most beautiful part of Angola?

I would not like to distinguish between regions. I simply say, ‘come to Angola’.