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Rangers work against all odds protecting the things we love. This comes at a significant price as many rangers are killed in the line of duty whilst they work for nature. A recent survey of rangers conducted by the WWF showed that almost 80% of the 1742 respondents had faced a life-threatening encounter during their work. Rangers deserve more and as such the theme for World Ranger Day 2021 is focused on the need for improved ranger safety and wellbeing.

The International Ranger Federation (IRF) reports that at least 120 rangers have died worldwide in the last twelve months in the line of duty. Added to these deaths, the IRF notes that, shockingly, almost 500 rangers have succumbed to COVID-19 worldwide.

Africa has experienced its worst year in memory regarding ranger deaths. The Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) has recorded 86 ranger deaths on the continent, of which 82 were in the line of duty. This means that at least 472 African rangers have been killed in action in the last decade. Over 51% of these rangers have been murdered by militia groups, terrorists and bandits in co-ordinated attacks or by poachers whilst protecting our wildlife and wild places. Sadly, we anticipate as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across our continent that the number of rangers who have died from COVID-19 will rise dramatically. It remains of utmost importance for rangers to take basic precautions like wearing a mask, maintaining social distance and washing their hands regularly. Most importantly rangers need to get vaccinated.

Rangers are frontline workers and deserve equitable access to COVID-19 vaccinations. They conserve and protect the very health of our planet and its communities of wildlife and people. They deserve better and we call on both government, private and the NGO sector to ensure ranger health is prioritised as it should be alongside other frontline workers.

‘On World Ranger Day we acknowledge our fallen ranger colleagues across the world. We pay tribute to them and their family members who have made tremendous sacrifices that do not go unnoticed. Perhaps the greatest tribute we can pay to our colleagues involves more than just acknowledgement. We need commitments and ultimately actions to ensure improved ranger safety and wellbeing in the workplace to help prevent many of these deaths in the future,’ said Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of the GRAA.

With the theme of this year’s World Ranger Day being ranger safety and wellbeing, the GRAA has been focusing on our RangerCare initiative in the hopes of making a tangible difference to rangers on the ground by improving their wellbeing.

Currently, through a joint initiative with SATIB Insurance Brokers called RangerProtect, we support over 1500 rangers with accidental death, disability and medical evacuation cover. This is the largest policy of its kind in Africa. Costing just $45 per ranger per year, this provides financial support to the families of rangers killed in action and ensures rangers receive in-field support if they are injured to prevent death or serious injury.

The GRAA is also coordinating efforts with leading emergency and wilderness medicine specialists to improve the standards of ranger first aid training. In August, together with these partners we will be releasing the first edition of the Guidelines and Scope of Practice for African Rangers First Aid (ARFA). The intention is to assist governments, conservation groups, or other NGOs to develop appropriate curricula and trainings to reduce and minimize ranger deaths and disabilities. These guidelines will be important in improving the access rangers have to quality remote area first aid training that is both relevant and appropriate to their working conditions.

It is exciting to announce that in the interests of improving ranger safety, Meddev and Safeguard Medical will be embarking on a partnership with GRAA to support the roll out of quality first aid equipment for rangers. This will build on the existing partnership we have with specialist ranger first aid training provider Safe Ranger Africa who have trained hundreds of rangers in life saving skills. Initially 20 rangers will benefit from the next course where they will be issued with top quality individual first aid kits. In the coming months this partnership will develop a long term and sustainable roll out plan to support rangers with improved access to quality equipment.


“It is exciting to be able to share some good news on World Ranger Day. The RangerCare initiative is going from strength to strength and helps keep rangers safe in the field. Mental wellbeing is also important and initiatives to give rangers the recognition they deserve like the Rhino Conservation Awards are very important in boosting morale. This week we announced the finalists of this year’s awards and their incredible contributions to conservation are inspiring to us all. We are also extremely proud to be an organising partner of the Wildlife Ranger Challenge once again which will support over 5000 rangers as they grapple with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.” added Campbell.

Those wanting to contribute to the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa’s efforts to improve ranger safety and wellbeing can do so via the donation tab on our website. Click here.

To all our rangers colleagues across the globe, today is your day.

Happy World Ranger Day.

Rangers face tremendous odds whilst undertaking their work protecting Africa’s remaining wild places. A recent survey of rangers conducted by the WWF showed that almost 80% of the 1742 respondents had faced a life-threatening encounter during their work.

Tragically, in the last 12 months at least 137 rangers have died worldwide according to the International Ranger Federation. The Game Rangers' Association of Africa (GRAA) has recorded 59 ranger deaths in Africa meaning that at least 384 African rangers have been killed in action since 2012. It must be remembered that these figures only reflect those deaths reported and actual estimates are thought to be significantly higher. 

‘On World Ranger Day we acknowledge our ranger colleagues who have fallen in the line of duty over the year. We also pay tribute to the family members left behind in neighbouring communities whenever a ranger is killed. It is our duty to ensure the sacrifices made by rangers and their families do not go unnoticed and for us to continue to support Africa’s rangers,’ said Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of the GRAA.

The GRAA through a joint initiative with SATIB Insurance Brokers called RangerProtect supports the accidental death, disability and medical evacuation cover of over 1500 rangers across Africa. Costing just $30 per ranger per year this insurance cover provides financial support to the families of rangers killed in action and ensures rangers receive in field support if they are injured.

With such perilous risks in the field it is easy for ranger morale to waver. Since 2012, the GRAA has facilitated the Rhino Conservation Awards to recognise their efforts and help motivate rangers in the field. On World Ranger Day we congratulate all the nominees, finalists and winners of these prestigious awards. You inspire us! The winners will be announced at 12h00 SAST (UTC+2) via our social media channels. Well done to you all!

Rangers need support and we are excited today to announce our involvement in a vital initiative to keep rangers supported as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across Africa. NATURAL STATE alongside organising partners Tusk Trust, GRAA, ForRangers, Global Wildlife Conservation, International Ranger Federation and the Thin Green Line Foundation are launching the Wildlife Ranger Challenge to help keep rangers in the field during these challenging times. The Scheinberg Relief Fund, the Challenge’s founding donor, has generously committed $5million of matching funds in support of rangers, with the goal of raising a total of $10 million and getting thousands of rangers back to full capacity.

More than 50 ranger teams across Africa will participate in a multi-million-dollar fundraising initiative to support the men and women across Africa’s protected areas who are enduring drastic cuts in salaries and resources due to the devastating economic impact of Covid-19 and yet are still working tirelessly to safeguard the continent’s iconic wildlife.

“This year it is exciting to be able to share some good news on World Ranger Day. Congratulations to all the nominees, finalists and winners of the Rhino Conservation Awards. Your amazing work does not go unnoticed! We are also extremely proud to be associated with the Wildlife Ranger Challenge which will support over 5000 rangers as they grapple with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Well done to NATURAL STATE, Tusk Trust, the Scheinberg Relief Fund and all the other project partners in supporting rangers during this trying time and ensuring they can perform their essential services which benefits species, habitats, ecosystems and communities,” added Campbell.

 

blog2A Call to Action....

We, the Rangers of Africa hereby declare that, as nature’s protectors and custodians we remain fully committed to efficiently and effectively carry out our duties, to the very best of our ability and with absolute integrity, to safeguard natural resources and wild spaces for the benefit of present and future generations.

While recognising the importance of wildlife and the critical role it plays in contributing towards livelihoods and the socio-economic development of Africa, we as Rangers stand united to overcome the significant threats that compromise life itself.

However, to achieve this honourable mission, Rangers are faced with a variety of challenges and limiting factors on a day to day basis, which impede our success.

Therefore, it was resolved at the inaugural African Ranger Congress that to overcome these serious challenges and limitations we urgently need to address the following:

  • Strengthening effective and efficient leadership at all levels.
  • The development of a comprehensive set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) appropriate to the role of a Ranger in all aspects of his/her work.
  • Provision of adequate support to Ranger well-being and welfare.
  • The provision of adequate and on-going capacity building at all levels.
  • The provision of adequate operational support.
  • Improved local, national and global exposure to our cause.
  • The promotion of good collaboration and co-operation between African nations to enable conservation efforts at a pan-African level.

To achieve this, we must identify high level champions for conservation who can generate the political will and engagement, which is required to support these endeavours.

Furthermore, we need to have a reinforced judicial process to support the Rangers themselves and their cause.

Finally, all African Rangers wish to recognise and appreciate the importance and significance of all cooperating partners.

PROTECTING WILD AFRICA

FOR OVER 50 YEARS

Please donate so we can continue
to support Africa’s rangers

Please donate so we can keep supporting
the guardians of what we all love

 

 

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PROTECTING WILD AFRICA

FOR OVER 50 YEARS

Please donate so we can continue to support Africa’s rangers

 

 

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