Wambui Waibochi

Wambui has always loved nature, as shown by her childhood fury at litterbugs and ongoing child-like excitement at viewing wildlife. Born and bred in Nairobi, she has had privileged access to various important and beautiful Kenyan ecosystems, as a visitor. She would like to grow into a career in which she can access these areas as a supporter. She has a passion for building symbiotic and resilient relationships between people and nature, to ensure that environmental resources are used responsibly and that human needs are met equitably.

Following this passion, Wambui has worked in diverse development and environmental organisations. These experiences range from internships during high school summers, through research done during her BSc, to postgraduate endeavours. Wambui’s last job was at the United Nations Environment Programme. Here she worked for over four years developing and disseminating information on environmental governance, to and with varied stakeholders from across the globe. However, she resigned from this post to focus on acquiring practical and technical skills in conservation management.

Her focus is community-based conservation in dryland and pastoralist areas in Kenya. These are the areas where she has had her favourite wildlife experiences. Additionally, she wants to combat the idea that pastoralism is ‘backward’. Further, there are both deep conflict and profound connections between pastoralism and conservation in these areas. Effectively, Wambui believes that people can and should explore opportunities here. She moreover supports community-based governance as it enables more direct relationships with ecosystems.

Wambui nonetheless wishes to learn from and participate in other topical and geographical areas. She plans to continuously gain knowledge and skills, in order to provide advice and services to people and organisations supporting locally led conservation. The MSc in Conservation Biology is perfect to propel her down this path. Her first degree was a BSc in International Development and the Environment with Overseas Experience, at the University of East Anglia.

Thesis: Habitat selection of wild dogs outside protected areas: implications for land-use policy. (Supervisors: Jacqui Bishop, Tim Kuiper, Dave Druce)