Yai holds a M.Sc. in Environment Management from the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, India and a B.Sc. in Physical Sciences from the University of Delhi, India. As part of his Masters’ degree curriculum, Yaiphaba worked as an Intern at the Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe) in New Delhi. Following his internship, he worked as a Research Assistant cum Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) India Data Manager at the Wetlands International South Asia (WISA) during which he prepared Management Action Plans for various wetland sites including Ramsar sites and Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs). Yai has also conducted several surveys and assisted the Partners for Resilience (PfR) India Programme. He also supported the coordination of the census programme in India, and helped in analyzing the data and reporting the results for use in management and conservation efforts. Yai speaks English, Hindi and Manipuri (a regional language in India).