Salisha Chandra



Salisha Chandra

Conflicts between people and wildlife currently rank amongst the main threats to conservation in Africa and the prosperity if its people. In Kenya, this conflict is intensified by a rapidly increasing human population competing for space to survive with free-roaming wildlife. Salisha Chandra, an MPhil in Conservation Leadership student at the University of Cambridge, is avidly searching for solutions to this challenge.

Born and raised in Kenya, she has a deep respect for the environment and a passion for both cultural and ecological conservation. At the impressionable age of 15, the sight of a burning pyre of elephant tusks left an indelible mark on her heart and mind. But it was not until she returned to Kenya in late 2012, at the height of another poaching crisis, that she became actively involved in conservation. She left her corporate career behind and delved into this new world with a focus on using her entrepreneurial mindset to conserve wildlife.

Salisha is currently the Director of Strategy and Knowledge Management at Lion Guardians, a conservation organization that has had a profound impact on lion conservation in southern Kenya.  By transforming people who once killed lions into their protectors, Lion Guardians has reduced lion killing by more than 90% and documented more than a quadrupling of the lion population.

Her reason for hope for lions: "Where once they were disappearing, the now growing population of lions in the human-dominated landscape of southern Kenya, thanks to the conservation efforts of the Maasai who choose to live with them, gives me hope for the survival of this charismatic species."