Heroes of the Earth: A Ugandan vet protects people and wildlife

From a young age, Kalima Zikosuka knew she wanted to work with animals. This Ugandan doctor is helping to protect some of the world’s most extraordinary primates, such as mountain gorillas, which have been in danger of extinction for more than thirty years.

Kalima-Zikosuka, this year’s Earth Champion in Science and Innovation, became the first female wildlife veterinarian for the Uganda Wildlife Authority, as she began implementing a new approach to working in the field, which focuses on improving people’s quality of life and livelihoods in villages around the area. .

This approach is the foundation of the organization he founded nearly 20 years ago: Save by the public the health (Conservation through Public Health). Through this initiative, the health model he designed has been expanded from villages to protected areas near Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as two unprotected areas in Mount Elgon National Park. In addition to promoting hygiene and good sanitation practices, the teams also support family planning.

Her work on human-wildlife interaction and her knowledge about the spread of zoonoses (infections that spread between humans and animals) between the two groups, have played a fundamental role in the Uganda government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can read the full story of this friendly animal at United Nations Environment Program page.

Earth Champions

  • The UNEP Champions of the Earth and Young Champions of the Earth Awards honor individuals, groups and organizations whose actions have a transformative impact on the environment. This award is the United Nations’ highest environmental honor and honors outstanding leaders from government, civil society and the private sector.
  • The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the decade from 2021 to 2030 as United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restorationled United Nations Environment Program (United Nations Environment Program), no Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO and its partners are designed to prevent, halt and reverse the loss and degradation of ecosystems around the world.
  • Its goal is to restore life to terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems. As a global call to action, it will bring together political support, scientific research, and financial tools to significantly expand restoration.
  • For more information, see www.decadeonrestoration.org/es.

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