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About GORILLA Conference

Geographical Science for Resilient Communities, Ecosystems and Livelihoods under Global Environmental Change (GORILLA)

What is G.O.R.I.L.L.A

The International Conference on Geographical Science for Resilient Communities, Ecosystems and Livelihoods under Global Environmental Change (GORILLA).


A significant proportion of livelihoods globally is premised on the exploitation of ecosystem and landscape resources. This is more pronounced in developing countries. However, a combination of natural and human induced processes has triggered elevated concerns on the current and future sustainability of terrestrial systems to support livelihoods and the development goals of nation states.

The ubiquitous climate change, increasing climate variability in various localities, increasing land use and land cover conversions and transformations especially in the tropics, changing lifestyles and rapidly changing demographic conditions in specific geographies have had pronounced adverse impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems and life supportive systems. A new scientist report by Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), indicates that 1,000,000 species have been lost while 75% of the terrestrial environment has been severally altered (IPBES, 2018).

Yet new scientific information from refined models also reveals heightened climate sensitivity pointing to change of 5oC, when the world has generally been contending with managing a 2oC change. Feedbacks through increasing intensity and magnitude of natural hazards, stagnant or declining agricultural yields exemplify the magnitude of the current situation and the need to urgently come up with workable solutions. Further, increasing hazards have also intensified other phenomena such as migration.

Concerning migration, it is also triggered by a plethora of complex socio-economic and political process at the macro, meso and micro levels, which not only challenges the stability, sustainability and development of communities, but also demonstrates the consequences of global environmental change as well as changing world order. 

The concerns of a changing global environment, their adverse implications and the need to tackle them are well recognized at the global level, notably in Global Development Agenda (2030) and its attendant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030), among others. While Global Environmental Changes (GEC) are ongoing, spatially explicit interventions are needed to create a sustainable path for resilient societies under the changing environment. There are indications that new knowledge, innovations and success stories with a geographical dimension exist which can be harnessed to propel the resilience and sustainability agenda.

On this basis, the GORILLA conference targets sharing knowledge and research on emerging science, technology, tools and innovations around resilient communities, ecosystems and livelihoods. The conference provides a great opportunity for inter alia, conceptual, empirical and theoretical discussions, which address the conference theme from many perspectives and it is anticipated that, by these means, both established, emerging and young researchers would immensely benefit. For these reasons, the conference will be truly multi and inter-disciplinary and therefore accepts submissions from both natural and social sciences.    

Conference Organisations

The conference will be organized by the IGU Commission of Biogeography and Biodiversity, the IGU Commission on African Studies, Uganda Geographical Association, IALE African Chapter, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), local and regional universities. 

Local Organising Committee

  1. Yazidhi Bamutaze, Makerere University
  2. Fred Babweteera, Makerere University
  3. Jerome Lugumira, National Environment Management Authority
  4. Herbert Talwana, Makerere University
  5. Benita Rumanzi, Africa Population Institute, Kampala
  6. Bob Nakileza, Makerere University
  7. David Mfitumukiza, Makerere University
  8. Edward Mwavu, Makerere University
  9. Mohammed Nabalegwa, Kyambogo University
  10. Frank Mugagga, Makerere University
  11. Fredrick Tumwine, Makerere University
  12. Buyinza Mukadasi, Makerere University

International Scientific Committee

  1. Prof. Yukiyo Himiyama : President - International Geographical Union (IGU)
  2. Prof. RB Singh, IGU Secretory
  3. Prof. Mike Meadows: University of Cape Town (South Africa)
  4. Suraj Mal: Chair, Biogeography and Biodiversity commssion
  5. Prof. Udo Schickhoff: Institute of Geography, University of Hamburg, Germany.
  6. Inocent Moyo: University of Zululand (South Africa).
  7. Oyama Shuichi: Kyoto University (Japan)
  8. Wenwu Zhao: Beijing Normal University (China)
  9. Joy Obando: Kenyatta University (Kenya)
  10. Mihai Voda: Dimitrie Cantemir University Romania
  11. Henry Bulley: City University of New York (USA),
  12. Lorraine van Blerk: University of Dundee (Scotland)
  13. Mark Cutler: University of Dundee (Scotland)
  14. Vincent Kakembo: Nelson Mandela University (South Africa)