It is an indication of just how dangerous the job of rangers is that during the four days that the 9th World Ranger Congresswas being held in Nepal last week, up to five rangers may have been killed around the world.
Opening the congress, outgoing International Ranger Federation president Sean Willmore asked for a minute’s silence for the 1,038 colleagues who had fallen in the line of duty over the past ten years – mostly in protected areas of Asia and Africa.
More than half of them were killed by armed poachers, and the congress looked at ways to make the job safer for those at the frontlines of protecting natural resources and biodiversity. Ranger welfare means safety, but also health, psychological well-being, and job security.
A worldwide survey of rangers conducted by the World Wildlife Fund released this week reveals that inadequate training and lack of basic equipment like shelter, uniforms and communication devices, puts rangers at risk, and makes them ill prepared for the dangers they face.