Thabo Mthembu | WWF South Africa

Thabo Mthembu



Posted on 01 October 2012
Thabo Mthembu
© Thabo Mthembu
Climate Change: WWF-SA 

“The internship helped me to set out a vision for my career by helping me to identify my strengths and weaknesses. Working in a cross-cultural organisational context also impressed upon my mind the importance of working in teams to achieve a common goal.”

Thabo grew up in Johannesburg in a close-knit family. His parents taught him the importance and value of sharing his time and resources with others. When he isn’t working, Thabo enjoys playing tennis and cooking for his friends. Thabo currently holds the position of Research Officer within the WWF-SA Living Planet Unit, and was recently featured in the Mail and Guardian 2013 list of 200 young South African’s to take to lunch.

After obtaining an Honours degree in Social Science at the University of Cape Town, Thabo embarked on a joint Masters programme in Global Studies at the Universities of Cape Town and Albert-Ludwigs Freiburg in Germany. This also gave him an opportunity of travelling to New Delhi, India. Given his passion for industrial and economic policy, Thabo’s research focused on Japan’s industrial policy in the development of commercial lithium ion batteries.

Thabo’s internship with the WWF-SA Global Climate & Energy Initiative allowed him to engage with climate and energy policies at global, regional and national levels. He also had the opportunity of engaging with various constituents around WWFs vision of a low carbon future powered by 100% renewable energy. The internship helped Thabo to set out a vision for his career and the opportunity of working in a cross-cultural organizational context demonstrated to him the importance of team work in achieving a common goal. His advice for young people entering the environmental sector is to be warm, accommodating, and approachable - this helps to develop strong working relationships.

In Thabo’s role as Research Officer within the WWF-SA Living Planet Unit he is involved with research and advocacy work on industrial and economic policy matters that support WWFs vision of a low carbon future. The main purpose of his work is to show that it is viable economically and environmentally for South Africa to start a transition to a low carbon economy powered by renewable energy. Moving forward Thabo would like to play a key role in advocating for better governance in managing earth’s resources through evidence based research coupled with advocacy work with civil society, communities, government and the private sector.


Thabo Mthembu
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