Kigali, Rwanda, 20 July 2022 (IUCN) – At the IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress, twelve rangers and ranger teams from around the world received an International Ranger Award today for their extraordinary commitment to protecting nature and helping local communities.
Winners of the second International Ranger Awards, presented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), were announced o 20th July 2022 in a ceremony at the IUCN African Protected Areas Congress in Kigali, Rwanda.
In total, seven individual rangers and three ranger teams from ten countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Australasia were recognized for going beyond the call of duty to protect the earth’s wild places and wildlife, and to support local communities.
Two winners received special awards for rangers working in areas where tigers are present.
African winners of the second International Ranger Award include the Anti-Poaching Tracking Specialists K9 Unit from Savé Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe; Ali Hassan Ali of the Bura East Community Conservancy and Popote Ole Sapulai of the Kimana Sanctuary, both in Kenya; and the Yyondji Community Eco-guards from the Yyondji Community Bonobo Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The International Ranger Awards were established with the support of the International Ranger Federation, Conservation Allies, Re:wild and the Global Tiger Initiative.
“The world’s rangers are the unsung heroes and heroines of conservation.” said Dr Madhu Rao, Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.
“We rely on their perseverance and dedication to maintain a healthy planet for wildlife and for people. The work of these women and men work is skilled and diverse: they are protectors, educators, community facilitators and wildlife monitors, working in protected areas, private reserves, Indigenous territories and community conservancies. WCPA is delighted to be a partner recognising these new awards which recognise their vital work.”
“Alongside their extraordinary stories of courage and commitment, what is remarkable about this year’s winners is their diversity,” said Chris Galliers, President of the International Ranger Federation.
“They include women, men and young people and a very high proportion of them are members of the local communities where they work. This diversity is what the International Ranger Federation is striving for in the sector, as it is the key to tackling the complex challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.”
Each winner or winning team receives US$10,000 to support the protected and conserved areas where they work, and a custom uniform patch to signify their achievement.