Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka this year’s Champion of the Earth for Science and Innovation, has spent three decades helping to safeguard some of the world’s rarest primates, including endangered mountain gorillas.
Much of Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka’s work has been in impoverished East African communities that border protected areas, where she has helped improve healthcare and create economic opportunities, turning many locals into partners in conservation.
Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka would become the first-ever wildlife veterinarian for the Uganda Wildlife Authority. There, she began to apply what was a new approach to working for wildlife – one that centred on improving lives and livelihoods in the remote villages that surrounded Bwindi.
Conservation Through Public Health, the organization she founded, has expanded its model of village health to protected areas near Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as to two non-protected areas of Mount Elgon National Park in Uganda. In addition to promoting hygiene and good sanitation practices, the teams also support family planning.
Read the full story about Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka here.