Over 90 rangers from 12 countries participated in the 2nd African Ranger Congress in Kasane, Botswana, from 14 -18 September 2022. It was organised by the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa (GRAA), endorsed by the International Ranger Federation (IRF) and supported by The Thin Green Line Foundation, Universal Ranger Support Alliance (URSA) and the Wildlife Ranger Challenge.

The Congress attracted rangers working for government, NGOs and community organisations from across Africa. It was a Congress by rangers, for rangers and about rangers that built networks, camaraderie, morale and celebrated ranger achievements during the African Conservation Awards.

We, the rangers of the African Ranger Congress, are committed to furthering the professionalisation of rangers which builds on the IRF Chitwan declaration and the URSA Action Plan. Whilst acknowledging previous commitments made, we call for the following actions to be undertaken by the global community and for them to hear our voices and help address our needs for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Increased advocacy, representation and recognition of the ranger sector:

  • Acknowledgement that the GRAA, as the IRF regional ranger representative body, be recognised as an independent point of reference for rangers that sets acceptable standards for the ranger sector using the best available knowledge.
  • Being guided by professionalism, the GRAA commits to acting with consequential responsibility, ethical dependency and integrity when interacting with the IRF, IUCN, URSA, national and international bodies for the benefit of rangers.

Improved and sustained ranger sector capacity building:

  • Recognition and support to build and sustain ranger sector capacity whilst creating a professional, effective and resilient ranger corps with the necessary safeguards in place.
  • We ask that the leadership potential amongst all rangers is recognised, and developed to ensure accountability and inspire the ranger corps towards a common purpose.

Better employment conditions and welfare:

  • Action to enhance ranger employment and welfare conditions, improving pride, trust and resiliency amongst the ranger workforce.
  • Improvement in support structures for all rangers including government, community and private sector rangers to improve their wellbeing - these should include, but not be limited to medical and life insurance schemes, legal support, trauma response for medical emergencies and professional counselling services, to support rangers and their families.
  • Ensure greater recognition for the families of rangers, acknowledgement of their support to rangers and establish systems to improve their wellbeing.
  • Respect and acknowledgement of the rights of all rangers to job security, fair remuneration, career development and progression as a way to improve resiliency against demoralisation and corruption.

Greater equality and equity in the ranger profession:

  • Realisation that equality can only be achieved in the ranger profession when fair and just conditions are available to all rangers. Recognition of the capabilities of all rangers, regardless of culture, race, religion, gender, and education to ensure equal opportunities for all.

Improved community relations, ranger conduct and accountability:

  • We urge all organisations employing rangers (including governments, NGOs and community organisations) to adapt, adopt and implement the IRF Code of Conduct to improve ranger conduct and accountability. We note that the rights of rangers should also be known and respected at all times.
  • Acknowledgement that rangers are not separate from communities and that they often come from local communities surrounding the conservation areas in which they work.
  • The creation of an atmosphere where communities see rangers as family through rangers’ good values as they conduct their critical and diverse work professionally, responsibly and accountably in a way that respects human rights.

For more information on the African Ranger Congress please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The African Ranger Congress was made possible by the following organisations and initiatives: GRAA, The Thin Green Line Foundation, International Ranger Federation, Wildlife Ranger Challenge, Universal Ranger Support Alliance, and the African Conservation Awards

The inaugural African Ranger Congress Declaration can be found here



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