WWF UK Blog  

David Tanner's biography

David Tanner, centre.

David Tanner – marine and forests team:

I was born in Zambia and also lived in Malawi and Kenya as a child before my family made the tragic (for me!) decision to move back to the UK when I was 10. My memories are of being outside at every opportunity; collecting chameleons, fire flies and grass snakes as temporary pets; and holidays in game parks or snorkelling in rock pools near Mombasa. Those early years made a huge impression on me and I have always had a love of Africa, its wildlife and its people.

After studying Zoology at university I returned to Eastern Africa and spent 6 months travelling from Kenya down to South Africa and back. I decided then that I wanted to work in conservation and studied for an MSc in Conservation on my return to London.

I then lived and worked in the field undertaking marine surveys in southern Tanzania and then Madagascar for two years – the highlight was probably hearing humpback whales singing to each other whilst diving off Nosy Ve in southern Madagascar. I followed this with three years working in the southern Philippines for VSO – where I combined coastal conservation work with livelihoods development and peace building.

Following that we decided to return to the UK and I worked for Progressio, a small development agency based in London, overseeing their HIV and AIDS, good governance and sustainable environment programmes in Africa, Asia and the Middle East for five years.

After a brief spell in Zanzibar implementing an environmental education programme, I was lucky enough to get a position with WWF-UK as their Regional Manager for Coastal East Africa. This blog will try to capture some of the huge range of work that WWF carries out in this amazing and dynamic region.

My latest posts


David Tanner and BMU Executive members, Temeke district, Tanzania. Copright: Keith Hempshall / WWF-UK

Building on success: fisheries management in southern Tanzania

Whether it’s to provide fish for dinner, beaches to relax on, waves to surf and sail, the oceans and their vast array of riches are important to us all. Millions of jobs in fishing, aquaculture, recreation, tourism, shipping and offshore energy are supported, while mangrove forests and coral reefs protect our shores from storms. There […]

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Fish market, Mafia Island, Tanzania. Copyright: David Tanner WWF-UK

Marine conservation and addressing local poverty in southern Tanzania

One of the things people sometimes don’t realise about the work that WWF carries out around the world is that often it is not related to working directly with wildlife or working in ‘nature reserves’. This is particularly true in East Africa where local people’s ongoing reliance on nature and its products (fruit, fish, timber […]

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