Faculty and Staff

Richard Kiaka

Richard Kiaka

Resident Lecturer in Human Dimensions of Conservation
Ph.D. in Anthropology
University of Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany)
Masters of Science, International Development Studies
Wageningen University, Netherlands
Bachelors of Science, Environmental Studies and Community Development
Kenyatta University, Kenya
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Faculty Profile

I am an Anthropologist with strong academic interest in Anthropology of Conservation and Environmental Justice Activism. I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Hamburg in Germany with fieldwork in Namibia, having completed my MSc. at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. I teach human dimensions of conservation. My current research focuses on ways of recasting meaningful involvement of local communities in conservation of natural resources. In a particular I explore current dynamics in community conservation in Kenya and Namibia; ways of improving human-wildlife coexistence within wider domains of multispecies interaction; and various of forms of rewilding that unfold in Kenya and Namibia. Away from academics, I a enjoy playing volleyball and interacting with people from different cultures.

Academics & Research

Research Interests

  • Community conservation
  • Human-wildlife coexistence
  • Community forestry
  • Community-based water management
  • Ethical tourism


“Nothing to lose”: The rationales of grassroots financial innovations in contexts of extreme scarcity.

Zapata Campos, Maria Jose; Barinaga, Ester; Dimba Kiaka, Richard; Ocampo, Juan, (2023). Social Enterprise Journal

Water values and moral economic practices in Kunene, Namibia.

Chwieger, D. A. M., Kiaka, R. D., & Schnegg, M. (2022). Water Alternatives, 15(3), 614-630.

Why farmers use so many different maize varieties in West Kenya.

Almerkinders, C., M. Witze, P. Hebbinck, R. Kiaka & W. Waswa (2021). Outlook on Agriculture.

“The street is ours”. A comparative analysis of street trading, Covid-19 and new street geographies in Harare, Zimbabwe and Kisumu, Kenya.

Kiaka, R., Chikulo, S., Slootheer, S., & Hebinck, P. (2021). Food Security, 1-19.

Natural Resources, Tourism and Community Livelihoods in Southern Africa: Challenges of Sustainable Development (pp. 64-77).

Hebinck, P., Kiaka, R. D., & Lubilo, R. (2019). Navigating community conservancies and institutional complexities in Namibia. In Lenao, M., Moswete, N., & Stone, M. T. (Eds.) Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Environmental (In) Justice in Namibia: Costs and benefits of community-based water and wildlife management.

Kiaka, R. D. (2019). Ph. D Dissertation. Faculty of Humanities, University of Hamburg. http://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/volltexte/2019/9649/

The economic value of water: The contradictions and consequences of a prominent development model in Namibia.

Schnegg, M., and R.D. Kiaka. (2019). Economic Anthropology. https://doi.org/10.1002/sea2.12152