ERF Newsletter March 23

Dear European rangers,

We have been around quite a bit since our last newsletter: First we accompanied our Ranger Drone Training in beautiful Seville, virtually and thanks to photos, videos and enthusiastic feedback from the participanting rangers (see below). The German rangers then met face to face with the Swiss rangers for a cross-border joint annual conference: a complete success with 160 participants, exciting lectures, heart touching reunions with colleagues, inspiring new contacts – and a new board of the German ranger association, including a new dual leadership with Milena Kreiling and Robby Meißner.

Currently, the ERF Board is meeting in the Black Forest National Park to develop strategies for our future work to support, train and network European' rangers internationally and to finally exchange ideas face to face again. There is also a need for discussion, as our previous Treasurer João Correia wishes to resign from his position, much to our regret, and we will not only celebrate him for his excellent work for the ERF, but replace him with Michael Großmann. Michael's position as Training Officer will be taken over by Borja Díaz, who has already done a lot of great work for our trainings and more – we are very excited to onboard Borja and will introduce him soon.

Meanwhile, an episode of The Rhino Man Podcast with me as guest was broadcasted and our public relations officer is travelling with the participants of our Nature Interpretation Training at the top of Denmark to learn the art of storytelling for conservation from the Danish Rangers (see photo above and latest post here – more details will follow on our website). This fits with the Interprete Europe Conference in Romania in May, where I will be one of the keynote speakers.

The Croatian and Romanian rangers can also tell stories: Of nature education, which they keep applying in Croatia from scratch for the ever increasing number of tourists, but also about successes like the official recognition of the ranger profession in Romania with a fixed curriculum – more success stories will surely follow: The Croatian Ranger Association and many other European ranger organisations are working on this, as our series of interviews with Europe's ranger associations shows.

Linked to the latest interviews are also two new ranger portraits: Florin Halastauan and Dario Rogić reveal what motivates them and recall their happiest ranger moments. Send us your answers to our portrait questions, together with your main tasks as ranger, area, a portrait photo and a photo of your work:! We will anchor them on a map to present as many of you as possible at a glance on our website soon. 

Also new on our website: Why Europe's first wild river national park, Vjosa, gives courage to fight continuing planned developments in some of Albania's most valuable protected areas, and a video presentation on diversity and ever-growing tasks of Europe's rangers, that I held for Iceland's rangers. Plus a tip for exciting online learning opportunities from the Capacity for Conservation collaboration project with Fauna & Flora International.

Wishing you an informative read
Urs Reif, President of the ERF

Next European Ranger event

XXIII. Annual Croatian Rangers Seminar

The Croatian Ranger Association invites to their Annual Croatian Rangers seminar:

  • The seminar will be held at the Eco Campus “Krka” in Puljani.
  • Date: April 20 and 21, 2023
  • Once the Agenda is settled, we will publish it here.

The Croatian Rangers seminar is open to international guests.

Read more

Any event Europe's rangers should know about?

Send us the title, a brief description of the content, information on the date, venue, registration options and – if available – photos for our events section.
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Croatia's rangers focus on cooperation and education

Asked about the biggest challenge for Croatia's rangers, Dario Rogić's answer is clearly mass tourism. In our interview the vice-president of the Croatian Ranger association reveals that environmental education again and again is the key to deal with it in the protected areas. Read what motivates him nevertheless and how the recognition of the ranger profession is one of the big goals of his association.

Enthusiastic feedback on our first drone training

Ten rangers from five countries returned to their protected areas with lots of new insights into the possible uses, data processing and responsible handling of drones. As our interview with participant Inês shows, Portugal's rangers may soon be using this technology more often. But there was also a desire for more flight practice and teaching. A big thumbs up to Andalusia's rangers who led the course.

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Environmental education trumps ranger duties

Romania's rangers also don't have much time for other duties besides environmental education: The government has launched a comprehensive program for schools. There is also enough to do with illegal logging and monitoring of conservation rules and visitor flows, reports Florin "Hombre" Halastauan of the Romanian Ranger Association. Last year, the association achieved a major success: the ranger profession is now officially recognized in Romania.

Encouraging Albania's struggling conservationists

The first European Wild River National Park Vjosa shows that perseverance against development projects can pay off. But for Divjaka-Karavasta National Park region, unfortunately, there is no success in sight: plans are underway for an airport near highly valuable protected areas.

Europe's rangers: diverse as nature, important as never

At the annual meeting of Iceland's rangers, ERF President Urs Reif gave an overview of Europe's rangers: Probably never before have their tasks been so complex. And never have they been as crucial. All the more important to network in all diversity to strengthen and learn from each other.

Learn online about social safeguards to avoid social risks

How can social risks through conservation be avoided and fair treatment be ensured within conservation organisations, but also in dealing with local people? This is one content of the Capacity for Conservation Learning Hub, contributed by Fauna & Flora International. 

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