This paper identifies mitigation measures to oil palm expansion, and suggests complementary livelihood options. Findings showed negative impacts of monoculture oil palm plantations from unclear land acquisition processes, increased pressure on remaining land; emigration of especially men, and reduced food security. There were also social issues related to increased immigrant labour, child labour and burdens on women. And whereas there has been infrastructure development, it is vital to establish social and environmental sustainability before oil palm plantations are expanded, with lessons drawn from Bugala island. The government is changing its perception of large scale oil palm plantation agriculture, and is considering other options for improving livelihoods, based on experiences in Kalangala district. This paper proposes complementary options, including agroforestry with high value crops like vanilla, cardamom, black pepper, as well as coffee, honey, vegetables and pineapple, livestock, and ecotourism. Training will be crucial for smallholder farmers to develop and maintain sustainable livelihoods. Natural forest areas and native tree species nurseries must be established to conserve beneficial species, and better land use planning and zoning of Buvuma island is needed to reduce the loss of natural forests.