Born to a pastoralist family in Moyale near the Kenya-Ethiopia border, Hassan Roba understands deeply the challenges facing pastoralist and agro-pastoral communities in the African Rift Valley. He worked for six years at the Center for Indigenous Knowledge at the National Museums of Kenya, collaborating mainly with northern Kenyan pastoralist communities on the integration of local and scientific approaches in the management of complex bio-cultural landscapes. His main research interests include pastoral land use systems, Indigenous knowledge and resource management, participatory research, and environmental governance.
Hassan holds a PhD in Development Studies from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and an MSc. in Dryland Biodiversity from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. He was a post-doctorate fellow at the German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (DITSL) at the University of Kassel where he was involved in a cross-continental research network for sustainable adaptation of grassland ecosystems vulnerable to climate change. In collaboration with Kivulini Trust, Hassan led the process of establishing Bio-cultural Community Protocols (BCPs) in order to safeguard community rights and access to pastures and water resources in the face of increasing pressures on land in the region.
As Program Officer for the African Rift Valley for The Christensen Fund, Hassan works at the local, regional and international levels to enable the Indigenous communities of the Rift to protect their biocultural heritage and to develop biocultural livelihood options. He speaks fluent Kiswahili and English. Hassan is based in Nairobi where he lives with his wife and children. When he is not working he enjoys listening to vernacular songs, reading motivational books and playing at home with his children. He also works closely with professionals from his community to support societal welfare and development. Hassan is a voluntary member of the task force working on Indigenous knowledge for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and is a member of the Marsabit County Budget and Economic Forum.
Some of Dr. Roba’s publications include:
Roba, H.G., Oba G. (2013): Understanding the Role of Local Management in Vegetation Recovery Around Pastoral Settlements in Northern Kenya. Environmental Management (2013) 51:838–849
Roba H. G. , Roba G.M and Boku Tache (2010). Managing Resource Variability in Dryland: The role of pastoralists’ mobility in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia. Consultancy report –Catholic Organization for Relief and Development (CORDAID), Nairobi.
Dell’Angello J., Mfume, O., Roba. H. G. and Bixler P. (2011). Discourse and Practice in Participatory Conservation : Exploring how it varies in different geo-political settings. In: Synne M. and Arild V. (eds). Student papers. Thor Heyerdahl Summer School in Environmental Governance Vol. 1 (2011)
Roba, H. G. Oba G. (2010) Framework for integrating indigenous knowledge and ecological methods for Implementations of Global Environmental Conventions. In: Runas J.and Dahlgren T (eds.) Grassland Biodiversity. Habitat Types ,Ecological Process and Environmental Impacts. NOVA Scientific Publisher Inc. New York .ISBN 978-1-60876-542-3.
Roba, H.G. and Oba G. (2009). Community participatory landscape classification and biodiversity assessment and monitoring of grazing lands in Northern Kenya. Journal of Environmental Management, 90:673-682