As some countries begin to ease the lockdown restrictions people are starting to plan and look to the future again. This has inspired us to continue the PACE Careers in Conservation series that illustrates the great range of jobs and many kinds of people that work in conservation and related employment.
The corona virus crisis has created enormous challenges, but we are confident about the future, that Conservation will continue to be a growing and exciting sector all across Africa. Conservation provides an extraordinary range of employment and career opportunities, more than most people realise. The PACE Careers in Conservation module describes different organisations to show the kinds of jobs they provide. It also shares the stories of conservationists from different countries and contexts. We hope their experiences will inform and inspire many of you to consider working in conservation.
Vet, researcher and project manager – Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Uganda.
The work of Gladys is especially relevant to the current pandemic. Covid-19 is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it originally passed to humans from animals. Gladys is a wildlife vet. Early in her career with the Uganda Wildlife Authority Gladys observed that the health of local communities, gorillas and livestock was interlinked. She noticed that poor hygiene and sanitation and a lack of immunization was causing disease to pass between wildlife, domesticated animals and people. If everyone had applied the lessons learned by people like Gladys the Corona virus pandemic would never have happened!
Gladys’ interest in animals started when she was young. She belonged to the Wildlife Club at school and as she grew older set up more Wildlife Clubs. She wanted to be a vet and was encouraged by her Mum who had herself been the first women in her profession in Uganda. Gladys had support from home but did have to fight stereotypes and discouragement when she chose to work with wildlife in the forest, it wasn’t considered a suitable place for an educated female. Se was determined and became the first wildlife vet in Uganda. After working for the Wildlife Authority she set up an organisation called Conservation through Public Health. It provides health care for people and animals in and around protected areas, and has helped local people set up up income generating projects in areas around national parks. These include producing and marketing Gorilla Conservation Coffee and tourist activities.