One platform for all rangers around the world: That’s the vision of Force For Nature, an organisation committed to the belief that rangers are the best lever we have to restore nature and deliver nature-based solutions. Its main product, the Ranger App, is there to equip rangers with essential knowledge and resources on a digital platform.
Jamie McCallum founded Force For Nature with the overarching goal to have one million trained and equipped rangers by 2030. We talked with him how the Ranger App will contribute to this goal.
Jamie, you did your PhD in biology and worked in conservation after your earlier career in corporate sponsorship. What drove you to found Force For Nature?
Currently about 20 percent of our planet are protected areas. But more than three quarters are not managed effectively. The most powerful solution to change this is to invest in rangers. All the more so because we now urgently need to work on the “30 by 30” target, i.e. to put 30 per cent of the land and sea surface under protection by 2030. We need more staff, more funding, more resources, better communication and organisation. Force For Nature want’s to be part of that solution and elevate the status of what rangers do.
“Our dream: All rangers come to one place. And that’s the App. It gives them what they seek, not what we want.”
Jamie McCallum, founder of Force For Nature
How does the Ranger App support rangers in practical terms?
Rangers are sharing their stories here on a regular basis, collaborating on things like flood management, migrating species or even how to put out wildfires – could what works in Australia also help in Spain or Portugal? We’d love this platform to be the main platform to stop the confusion and loss of information due to the many channels and campaigns on conservation.
Can you give an overview on how the app works and which areas will users find?
Basically, there is the News section with news from relevant worldwide conservation organisations and platforms. In the Stories section rangers can post themselves news, photos, any content they would like to share with the ranger community. Our Calendar gives an overview of important international events like congresses, world days and more on biodiversity and conservation. The Education area has guidelines, online training, downloads and other content for training in the main work areas of rangers. In the Chat, rangers can connect directly, exchange knowledge or gain support from colleagues. The App has a strong filtering, so rangers really get the content relevant for them. If somebody is seeking contacts in his neighboring countries or only wants news from Europe, e. g. only on community engagement, that is possible.
What advantage do you see in the Ranger App compared to other platforms such as the usual social media and communication tools?
For example, the founder of The Thin Green Line Foundation, Sean Wilmore, told me, he is on about 20 different Whatsapp groups for rangers. He wakes up in the morning and each group has 45 new messages. One can’t even begin to check them all. But if all of those news are in one location and can be filtered to see only relevant stuff – that is very powerful. And that’s our dream: All rangers come to one place. And that’s the App. It gives them what they seek, not what we want.
See Jamie at the 5th European Ranger Congress, talking about his impressions on Albania, what he took from the congress and his ideas on supporting and cooperating with the European Ranger Federation.
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