|Dear ATCNews Readers,
Today we celebrate World Ranger Day – a day to recognise Rangers from around the world – the brave men and women who dedicate their lives to the protection of the planet’s last wild places.
Did you know that African Parks has the largest Ranger force for any one NGO in Africa?Today we have a team of 1,000 strong and growing.
Our Rangers are the boots on the ground, and are ultimately a force for good.
They hold the line against ever-escalating global pressures to safeguard irreplaceable natural systems – the rainforests, oceans, wetlands and savannahs – that give us all life, so that future generations can prosper. With 15 parks under our management, 10.5 million hectares are being secured thanks to over 100,000 patrols they carry out yearly.
Our Rangers serve as the last line of defense in some of the most remote, wild and sometimes conflict-ridden environments on the continent. Through their efforts we can ensure that protected areas deliver ecosystem services as well as provide the opportunities that communities deserve. Rangers don’t just protect wildlife – their efforts help bring jobs, provide education, healthcare, and overall stability for a better way of life.
- In just three years, our Rangers have decreased elephant poaching by 98% in Garamba in the Democratic Republic of Congo. With increased security, a sustainable development plan has been implemented which will help deliver clean water, electricity and education to more than 100,000 people surrounding the park.
- Rangers in Zakouma in Chad have practically eliminated poaching and elephants are on the rise for the first time in decades. The Rangers work with surrounding communities, building trust and communication networks which have dramatically reduced illegal activity in the region.
- In Chinko in Central African Republic, Rangers have provided safe harbour to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) fleeing conflict. In 2018, after 15 months under the protection of our Rangers, 380 IDPs voluntarily relocated back home with our support and security, and today 32 of them have been employed to help cattle herders observe the boundary of the park.
But our Rangers cannot do this all alone.
They need constant training, equipping, and outfitting to meet the threats of poaching and other illegal activities head on, and your support can go a long way.