Ugandan wildlife vet gets coveted Sierra Club award

Saturday October 20 2018

Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, founder of Conservation Through Public Health

Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, founder of Conservation Through Public Health. PHOTO | COURTESY 

By BAMUTURAKI MUSINGUZI
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Renowned Ugandan wildlife veterinarian Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka was recently awarded the Sierra Club EarthCare Award, the second African winner after Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai.

The EarthCare Award organised by the US-based Sierra Club, honours an individual, organisation or agency that has made a unique contribution to international environmental protection and conservation.

Dr Kalema-Zikusoka was recognised for her work in environmental protection and co-existence between communities and mountain gorillas in Uganda. She is the founder of Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH).

She says she is elated at the endorsement of her organisation’s conservation work, adding, “After this award, we plan to continue strengthening our integrated One Health model that is addressing human, animal and ecosystem health together, and expand our award winning model to other biodiversity hot spots.”

“CTPH is working with the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Jane Goodall Institute and Budongo Conservation Field Station to expand our integrated approach to Mount Elgon National Park and Budongo Forest Reserve. We are very grateful to the Sierra Club, and many partners, donors and supporters for enabling us to achieve this impact,” she added.

Dr Kalema-Zikusoka and the other 2018 winners received their honours at a ceremony that was held in Denver, Colorado, US on September 29.

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organisation, with more than three million members and supporters.

In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and their outdoor heritage, the club promotes clean energy, safeguards the health of communities, supports wildlife protection and preserves remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action.

Dr Kalema-Zikusoka, who was born on January 8, 1970 in Kampala, was the first wildlife veterinary officer of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. She started CTPH in 2003. CTPH aims to be an internationally-renowned leader in gorilla and wildlife conservation through a multidisciplinary approach.