Born Free’s David Manoa awarded PhD from University of Nairobi

05 April 2023


Born Free is delighted to announce that David Manoa, Pride of Amboseli Programme Manager, has received his PhD from the University of Nairobi.

A predator proof boma constructed by Born Free in use, with livestock being herded inside

David Manoa is the Pride of Amboseli Programme Manager, a programme that promotes the coexistence of people and carnivores in Southern Kenya and northern areas of Tanzania by reducing human-carnivore conflict. He has been managing the programme for the last 12 years, and has worked for Born Free for 20 years!

Headshot of David Manoa

David Manoa, Pride of Amboseli Manager

Manoa was awarded a PhD in Biodiversity & Natural Resources Management by the University of Nairobi, for his thesis entitled “A Comparative Analysis of Opportunity, Transaction and Health Costs of Human-Wildlife Conflict in Amboseli and Mount Kenya Ecosystems”. His award comes at a time when large areas of Kenya are experiencing persistent and severe droughts and human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is skyrocketing. Tackling this issue requires innovative mitigation strategies to safeguard wildlife, people and their livelihoods.

Manoa’s achievements have given him a deep understanding of the complexity of the issues, allowing him to explore and implement innovative strategies to deal with the ever-emerging wildlife conservation challenges in Kenya, especially HWC.

His study revolved around human-wildlife conflict, with special focus on hidden costs of HWC (e.g., the psychological costs including anxiety and fear, or money and time spent guarding against wildlife). The hidden costs are not recognised in Kenya’s Wildlife Conservation and Management Act (WCMA) 2013 and there is limited research to inform policy decisions. Yet, the damages from hidden costs can be equal to or surpass the direct costs.

Manoa, who is passionate about working with the communities, highlights the shortcoming of the current approach to the wildlife conservation in Kenya and suggest strategies to enhance harmony between people and wildlife. His study is important to wildlife practitioners and policy makers in reviewing the wildlife management and conservation policy on how best to deal with the ever-increasing issue of HWC, compensation claims and shortage of funds.

Dr David Manoa said: “After six years of hard work and determination, I am delighted to have been awarded a PhD. It has been a big challenge dealing with a full-time job, family, studies and then the Covid-19 outbreak delays. But my passion for wildlife kept me going.”

Will Travers, Executive President of Born Free added: “Huge congratulations Manoa. This is a prestigious personal accomplishment, and it puts Born Free at the forefront of practical actions to protect wildlife in Kenya. Well done Dr Manoa!”