SEGERA LAUNCHES EAST AFRICA’S FIRST ALL FEMALE RANGER UNIT
(Posted 01st August 2019)
In celebration of World Ranger Day, has The ZEITZ foundation, with the support of the Julius Baer Foundation and other private donors, successfully launched East Africa’s first All-Women Anti-Poaching Ranger Unit and Academy at Segera Conservancy in Kenya.
Recruits were selected in March 2019 from Segera’s local communities, with a focus on providing opportunity to those who have been marginalized. Education and sustainable employment are two key development factors created through conservation and provide a platform for female empowerment in a male dominated industry. In April 2019, the first group of 12 female rangers started a holistic training programme, designed to achieve the highest standards of anti-poaching and security, at the ZEITZ foundation’s new training Academy on Segera.
The selected women were being provided with all the elite training, equipment and support required on the front lines of conservation. Following their graduation in September 2019, the employed rangers will continue to live amongst and engage with their communities, ensuring dialogue as the primary driver for peace, intercultural understanding and preservation. The goal will then be to expand the initiative; an exciting concept for conservation and one in which Kenya could take a leading role.
Damien Mander, Founder of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) pioneered the Akashinga model in 2017, being the first nature reserve in the world to be managed and protected by women. The Akashinga team and Mander are working alongside the ZEITZ foundation to develop a template that can be made available not just in Zimbabwe and Kenya, but throughout Africa as a whole, bringing a progressive new approach to conservation and female empowerment in our rural communities. It is believed this ground-breaking approach could change conservation forever.
“This year’s International Women’s Day has been themed ‘Balance for Better’, which has been best captured by formation of this all-female anti-poaching unit. These women will not only get to set a new standard in their profession, but also get an opportunity to improve the livelihoods of their families. Women are nurturers and that instinct transfers easily to protecting the environment in which their families can thrive. I am very delighted that Kenya takes the lead in East Africa in empowering women in wildlife conservation.” commented Hon. Najib Balala, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife
“It is been a long standing mission of the ZEITZ foundation to create initiatives that enhance the livelihoods of local communities, empower women, and conserve nature. We are proud to be supporting this ground-breaking venture that will improve women’s lives and support conservation in Kenya.” said Jochen Zeitz, Founder of the ZEITZ Foundation
“Rather than recruit women to be rangers, we wanted to know what their dreams were. Who did they want to be? Being a ranger then became a vehicle to fulfill their own destiny. Putting women at the center of the program’s focus gave us the greatest traction in community development and relationships, and conservation simply became the bi-product. In many ways, women are the bridge conservation has been longing to build into neighboring communities.” added Damien Mander, IAPF
Segera is Kenya’s only 5 star safari property north of the equator and is regularly named amongst the world’s top retreats and luxury resorts of its kind.
Segera is the most centrally positioned conservancy in the heart of Laikipia. Nestled between Mount Kenya to the east and the Great Rift Valley to the west, it’s a stunningly diverse environment of woodland, grasslands and fertile riverbeds with springs attracting herds of elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, and important populations of Reticulated Giraffe, Lelwel’s Hartebeest and endangered species such as Grevy’s Zebra, Patas Monkey and one of Kenya’s few expanding populations of the African Wild Dog, often also referred to as painted or hunting dogs.
Maintaining a vital migratory corridor as well as permanent refuge, Segera’s 50,000 acres provides wildlife and habitat management for the surrounding Ewaso ecosystem and as a Founding Long Run Destination, Segera has become a driving force in promoting sustainable thinking and practice, especially through its holistic 4C approach
About the ZEITZ foundation: www.zeitzfoundation.org
The ZEITZ foundation for Intercultural Ecosphere Safety was founded by Jochen Zeitz in 2008, with the mission to create and support sustainable, ecologically and socially responsible projects to achieve long-lasting impact and sustainability through a holistic balance of Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce (the 4Cs). The ZEITZ foundation is a nonprofit organization registered in Kenya and Germany.
About the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF): www.iapf.org/
The IAPF was founded in 2009 and operates in both Southern and Eastern Africa. The focus of the organization is ecosystem preservation which is achieved through the two key functions of training and operations. The operational model is Akashinga a community-driven conservation program, empowering disadvantaged women to restore and manage a network of wilderness areas as an alternative economic model to trophy hunting. The program which was established in Zimbabwe’s Lower Zambezi Valley has been highly successful, making more than 100 arrests in the past 18 months while helping to protect one of the worlds largest remaining elephant populations. Training is conducted under the LEAD Ranger initiative, a program of excellence, building field based indigenous leadership and instructional capacity across Africa’s network of conservation areas.
The IAPF, which is registered in 4 countries, has Dr. Jane Goodall as its Patron and has supported rangers that help protect over 6 million acres of wilderness across the continent.