Science and Innovation category - Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Uganda
She was the first-ever wildlife veterinarian of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, and is a recognised world authority on primates and zoonotic diseases.
As the founder and CEO of Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), she leads the implementation of three integrated strategic programs using the ‘One Health’ approach. Kalema-Zikusoka, says that she hopes she will inspire young Africans to choose careers in conservation.
“There is a lack of local representation among conservationists. Not many are from the places where endangered animals are found,” she said. “We need more local champions, because these are the people who will become decision-makers for their communities and countries.”
Entrepreneurial Vision category - Maria Kolesnikova, Kyrgyz Republic
She is an environmental activist, youth advocate and head of MoveGreen, an organisation working to monitor and improve air quality in Central Asia.
Under her leadership, the organisation developed an app called AQ.kg, which collects data every 20 minutes from the two largest Kyrgyz cities, Bishkek and Osh, about the concentration of pollutants in the air, including PM2.5, and PM10 and nitrogen dioxide.
“So often, you can get demotivated as an activist – you work so hard, don't see results of your endeavors and, finally, you feel like you don’t want to keep going. But then you realise, no. Someone has to take responsibility for the future. Why shouldn’t it be me?” Kolesnikova says about what drives her to make change.