Issue 17: Sharing the Forest: Protecting Gorillas and Helping Families in Uganda

By
Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka and Lynne Gaffikin

On the outskirts of remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda, endangered mountain gorillas forage in local gardens that run along the border of the park. Rapid population growth has pushed people to settle near the gorillas' habitat – sometimes leading to conflict. Our innovative community development program, Conservation Through Public Health, seeks to conserve these magnificent animals, and at the same time, improve the quality of life for Ugandans living near Bwindi. Trained community volunteers protect livelihoods dependent on ecotourism by monitoring diseases like tuberculosis that can pass from humans to gorillas, potentially threatening the rare species' survival. Other volunteers teach couples how to use modern family planning methods that make it easier for them to provide for their children – and reduce the pressure on the forest and its inhabitants.

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Experts & Staff

  • Roger-Mark De Souza // Director of Population, Environmental Security and Resilience, Wilson Center
  • Sandeep Bathala // Senior Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program, Maternal Health Initiative
  • Katharine Diamond // Program Assistant, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Benjamin Dills // Program Assistant, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Lauren Herzer // Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program
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  • Schuyler Null // Web Editor and Writer/Editor, Environmental Change and Security Program, Maternal Health Initiative
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  • Sean Peoples // Multimedia Producer and Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Geoffrey D. Dabelko // Senior Advisor, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Ruth Greenspan Bell // Public Policy Scholar
  • William Krist // Senior Policy Scholar
  • Louise Lief // Public Policy Scholar
  • John W. Sewell // Senior Scholar