As we approach World Ranger Day on July 31st 2019, we at the International Ranger Federation (IRF) and its charity arm The Thin Green Line Foundation (TTGLF) invite you again to join us and ‘Stand With The World’s Rangers’.
We ask that you stand with those Rangers who are on the frontline of conservation, bravely giving their all to protect our one home, planet Earth. We ask that you also honour those Rangers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, and stand with their families. This year we honour 149 Rangers who have sadly made the ultimate sacrifice. And last year’s total also stands at 149 brave lives lost (see Honour Roll).
Of those lost this last year: 45 were lost at the hands of poachers, militia and other assailants; 23 lost their lives in encounters with the very animals they protect; 27 succumbed to diseases such as malaria and other illnesses encountered while at work; 51 were lost in accidents associated with the dangerous nature of their work.
Using the IRF’s regions: 29% were from Africa, 57% were from Asia, 9% from North, South and Central America, 3% from Europe, and 2% from Oceania.
But these people are much more than statistics and numbers.
These are our brave heroes who have given their all. They leave families behind, often with little compensation, and the children needing basic funds just to stay in school. We ask that you simply stand with them, and if you can, perhaps show that support by contributing to our Fallen Ranger Fund.
While these losses are tragic, I write this with hope in my heart. I write this as the sun comes up from our Lead Ranger camp in East Africa. A program that in its first phase is training 16 African Rangers from four countries to return to their protected areas and train many more of their Ranger colleagues in essential skills such as, critical bleed control, animal encounters, fire management, anti-poaching, community liaison and more. These are vital skills that will help to save more wildlife and the lives of their protectors – our brave Park Rangers. In fact, two Rangers’ lives have already been saved through the application of skills learnt here!
So, please – ‘Stand with the Rangers this World Ranger Day’. Download your WRD signs and post them on social media. Register your World Ranger Day event to show your support, and Donate if you can to programs helping support the families of Fallen Rangers, and to initiatives that train and equip Rangers, to help save the lives of Nature’s protectors.