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Tim Clarke

Formerly at Lancaster University

Research overview

I am a Zoologist by degree from Oxford University, with a further specialisation in rural development and the use of ‘appropriate technology’, a concept developed by Fritz Schumacher in his iconic book, Small is Beautiful (1973).

My first job was as a Wildlife Campaigner for Friends of the Earth, saving whales, protecting habitats, and trying to halt the trade in endangered species.

After working as a ‘stagiaire’ (trainee) at the European Commission in 1975 I became a full European Commission official, managing initially 80 fisheries development projects worldwide.  I had originally intended only to stay 2 years with the Commission, but 30 years later I was still there, having done 14 different jobs rising to the rank of EC/ EU Head of Delegation/Ambassador for eight of those years., serving in Ethiopia then Tanzania. In both countries I was personally responsible for managing EU development projects worth over €1 Billion and 100 staff.  I later returned to Brussels to manage relationships between the EU, the UN system, the US, China, Russia, India , the African Unon, ASEAN and others on resolving Crises and Conflicts in Mali, Syria and elsewhere.

It is rather rare to come across a UK ciitizen who is a convinced European, but I am just such a person. I have also developed over time a passion for environmental conservation, for the fight against injustice and inequality, for women’s rights, for the disabled, for mitigation of the impact of climate change, for food security, for the prevention and resolution of conflict, for good governance and democracy-building, and most recently for the right to security and dignity of the most vulnerable.

Upon retiring in October 2013 I took up contact with LEC and am working on a pro bono basis as a Strategic Adviser to help develop LEC’s networks in Europe, Africa and elsewhere. I’m particular interested in dramatically scaling up and expanding the work of LEC’s brilliant Centre for Global Eco-Innovation.


Walking in the mountains – three ascents of Kilimanjaro so far. Visiting World Heritage sites (130 seen, 760 to go; 1625 on a ‘tentative ‘ list – about 20 get added each year) . Drinking Belgian beer (there are over 800 varieties). Diving on coral reefs. Canoeing on the most beautiful lake in the world, Ullswater