ERF Newsletter October 23

Dear European rangers,

Light and dark collided particularly fiercely for us this month, starting with our highly productive Image & Fundraising Workshop in Dartmoor, UK. Around 20 ERF rangers from more than a dozen countries had little trouble finding convincing arguments why ranger work needs to be better known and more strongly supported internationally from society and nature conservation policy.

On the day of our departure, the news of the cruel attacks in the Middle East hit us. The subsequent flow of news and the fate of our fellow rangers in Israel has overshadowed everything since then. Until today, they are certainly going through the most difficult time. There are no words for the suffering of the people in all the war regions. And yet we would like to assure our friends, our twinning partner, the Israeli Rangers, again and again: We stand by your side! We are there to help rangers, in Israel, but also everywhere else where they are in need. If you also want to help: Please contact us!

Still, we would like to share the results of the on site meetings for Europe's rangers: On the occasion of our workshop in Dartmoor, we also came to the decision that we will host the next European Ranger Congress 2025 in Romania, in close cooperation with the Romanian Ranger Association and the Foundation Conservation Carpathia, who have put together a convincing package – details to follow. The Swedish Rangers also submitted a really attractive application, many thanks to our board member Adam and team!

Besides Dartmoor there was our K9 ranger training on working with dogs for conservation in Spain that has provided participants with valuable insights. And while rangers met in England to discuss how rangers save nature at the annual CMA conference, Portuguese rangers held their "Global Ranger Congress" in the Azores to exchange views with international participants on marine conservation, techniques and roles of rangers, e.g. in combating climate change.

Probably the most important way to win people for the cause of nature is to involve them from an early age. Read how this works successfully in one of the oldest Junior Ranger projects in Europe. We rangers also have to keep learning about nature and its protection, as challenges are constantly growing. Our Twinning Partnerships for rangers are an extremely efficient way to grow together by sharing knowledge with rangers from other countries, as I have experienced in our twinning friendship with Israel. A look at our guidelines for twinning as well as short profiles can therefore only be recommended. Our Project Officer Adam will be happy to answer all your questions about Twinning!

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

"My heart is with each of my friends in Israel"

Even after a cruel month, the suffering in the Middle East goes on. In the middle of it: our member, the rangers of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. A look at their current situation and a personal letter from ERF President Urs Reif about his feelings with regard to the situation of the friends he found in Israel through the German twinning partnership.

Raising awareness of world's need for rangers

In conservation, there is no lack of goals and working papers. But a shortage of rangers, for example to implement the goal of 30 percent protected land and marine area by 2030. Participants at our image and fundraising workshop had no problem coming up with lists of rangers' contributions toward global conservation goals. But how to communicate this to gain the deserved support for rangers? Insights and summary of productive days with a visit by global conservation policy experts from TGLF UK.

K9 training: use of dogs in ranger work areas

About a dozen rangers from Israel, different areas in Spain and South Africa learned how to organize working with dogs in practical conservation in our K9 training in cooperation with the Generalitat de Catalunya K9 unit. Besides the working methods and techniques of the experts, also the exchange of experiences about practices in K9 use of the participants themselves was important part of the training. Learn more about the topics and feedback from the participants.

Reconnecting nature and society: Junior Rangers

Award-winning and one of the oldest in Europe: the Junior Ranger Program of the Bavarian Forest National Park looks back on a lot of experience. We asked the brains behind it for their tips and learnings to share with all of you who work with Junior Rangers - one of the most important ways to transport values like nature conservation into society, as Kristin Biebl and Mario Schmid say. Read what advice and experiences they would like to share with the international ranger community here.

Learn about Twinnings like Croatia and Portugal

Standing together, learning from each other, and rising to challenges together: These are some of the goals of twinning partnerships for rangers. In our short profiles we introduce you to existing twinnings to promote what is arguably the most effective knowledge building program for rangers and encourage to form new twinning partnerships with rangers from other countries. Newly included: the long-standing twinning friendship between Croatia's and Portugal's rangers.

CMA confers on Nature Recovery

When rangers come together, the focus is on new and effective ways to advance conservation. Thus the annual conference of the Countryside Management Association (CMA) was held under the motto "Delivering Nature Recovery". Around 50 delegates from England, Wales and Northern Ireland met to discuss successful, new and surprising ways with international guests. But read for yourself!

Survey: Trust Building with Communities

Trusting relationships between rangers and local communities are fundamental to conservation success. But it often requires actions by communities and rangers to build effectively. Share your experiences and help to develop a new IUCN WCPA good practice guideline on building trust with rangers and local communities: find out more and fill out this survey or send an email.

Be part of the State of the Ranger Report

The International Ranger Federation (IRF) invites you to be part of the State of the Ranger Report, a first global report on the ranger profession worldwide. The aim is to raise the profile of rangers and their role as an indispensable planetary service so that they receive the support they deserve. Please take 15 to 30 minutes by taking part anonymously in the ranger survey. More information here

Dates & Events

Spoilt for choice: Jury selects winners of Volunteer Photo Contest

In wonderful photos, the participants of our volunteer photo contest "Volunteering is in my Nature" told us their stories. Lifesavers, start helpers into lives, clean up actions, environmental education, trail management, landscape maintenance and – above all – the commitment to conservation, as a group or alone as volunteer ranger: our competition has shown how indispensable volunteering in nature conservation is. 

  • Currently, our jury is selecting the winners.
  • Award ceremony will take place in an extra online session on December 5, 2023, the international Volunteer Day
  • Update with the winners and details for the honoring will follow soon!

Seven Summits Challenge: be there!

The Seven Summits Challenge of the Tasmanian Rangers is still running! Due to the weather, the official start even had to be postponed and the challenge was extended by one week. So, take up the challenge and support the rangers in Timor-Leste in their critical work!

  • Finishing on Sunday the 12th November, Rangers from across Tasmania, mainland Australia and each of the seven continents will be tackling peaks, hills, stairs etc in their area, and log in via the Seven Summits Challenge site.
  • This can be walking, running or on a bike.
  • A running tally of elevation gained will be kept updated on the Tasmanian Rangers Assocation’s platforms to achieve 40 000 metres in elevation, the combined height of the highest peaks on each continent.
  • The walks and climbs don’t have to be big: the more people on board, the less climbing for all!
  • See the Instagram-Channel of the Tasmanian Ranger Association for current updates.

IRF World Ranger Congress: Have your say on the detailed topics!

The 10th World Ranger Congress of the International Ranger Federation will be hosted by Gardes Nature de France on the theme "Empowering Rangers Globally to meet the 30 x 30 Challenge". Take your chance to have a say about the concrete topics of the Congress.

  • At Giens Peninsula, Hyères, in France 
  • From 7 to 11 October 2024
  • With focus on the contributions and evolution of the ranger profession to achieve target 3 of the Global Biodiversity Framework

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