Uganda’s first wildlife vet and award-winning conservationist, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, shares her personal story about how her organization “Conservation Through Public Health“ has contributed to a steady growth of mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. That’s in addition to a major improvement in community health, a threefold increase in family planning use, and new opportunities for people living around the park to thrive in coexistence with gorillas and other wildlife.
In this 30-minute interview, we touch on:
- How the nonprofit incorporates public health and family planning into conservation
- How to prevent the spread of diseases between humans and gorillas
- Why improving public health and hygiene helps communities and gorillas thrive
- How they achieved an increase of contraception from 22% to 67%
- Why ecotourism is great for local livelihoods but can’t be the only option
Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka (1970) is one of the leading conservationists and scientists working to save the endangered mountain gorillas of East Africa. Her NGO Conservation Through Public Health promotes coexistence of gorillas, other wildlife, humans, and livestock. For her outstanding environmental and humanitarian work, Gladys has received a number of awards from the United Nations, Sierra Club and Edinburgh International Science Festival. Her memoir “Walking With Gorillas: The Journey of an African Wildlife Vet” came out in March 2023.
If you want to learn more about how food security, family planning and conservation are indelibly tied, check out my interview with Dr. Joan Castro from the PATH Foundation Philippines.