Tusk Trust on Monday, July 31 celebrated conservation rangers who put their lives on the line while protecting endangered species, preserving nature, and safeguarding against poaching, illegal logging, and other activities that harm the environment as they mark World Ranger Day.
The 2023 World Ranger Day, which is themed ’30 by 30’, picks up from the 2022 Global Biodiversity Framework that outlined a requirement that at least 30% of the planet is effectively conserved and managed by 2030.
According to Africa Programmes Manager at Tusk Ivy Wairimu, the target cannot be achieved without adequately resourcing and training frontline conservation workers, especially rangers.
“It will require a fivefold increase in the number of rangers globally from about 286,000 to over 1.5 million and improving their working conditions and capacity to enable them to discharge their duties on behalf of the local communities they serve and the biodiversity they help conserve,” Wairimu stated.
She added, “A more effective way to increase the efficiency of managing protected and conserved areas is to boost the support provided to ranger teams and to catalyse the development of the ranger profession as a whole. This can only happen with increased recognition of the fundamental contribution rangers make to conservation.”
Tusk in 2020 partnered with the Game Rangers Association of Africa and launched the Wildlife Ranger Challenge to fundraise and support the welfare of rangers who were affected during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In this year’s challenge, more than 100 teams of rangers from across African will compete against one another in a series of challenges.
The competition will culminate into a coordinated 21km race across their respective protected areas that will be held on September 16, 2023.
The Wildlife Ranger Challenge campaign has so far connected thousands of rangers from 24 African countries with many thousands of supporters from more than 90 countries around the world uniting the global north and the global south in a common goal.