Today is the day when we rangers around the world are united in remembering our colleagues who have died in the line of duty. But also to tell the public about rangers’ work, which is so crucial to the health of our planet. For us at the ERF, it is above all a day to tell all of you rangers what a great job you are doing!
We are proud to represent you for the European region and want to give you a voice. In the weeks leading up to World Ranger Day, we have received many great submissions and statements from you, telling the world about your personal views on this special day. But the challenges you face as rangers have also become clear time and again: Lack of equipment and recognition, too few staff, insecure jobs – and again and again the respect for rangers of other countries who are faced with completely different, often life-threatening challenges.
Please take the time, wherever you are, to pause for a two minutes silence at 12 noon today to remember our fallen fellow rangers and their families in their immeasurable loss.
We have published all your submissions in our WRD Countdown on Social Media. Here you can see them again at a glance, as well as your photos which help to give the rangers of this world a face.
WRD: also a day to celebrate your own ranger work
World Ranger Day also means time to come together and celebrate rangers’ work for conservation, biodiversity and the planet’s health. In this sense lean back and listen to what ERF President Urs Reif and ERF Vice President Ilan Yeger have to say about World Ranger Day and the great work you Rangers do every day.
World Ranger Day greetings from El Salvador, Namibia and Rwanda
For this special day we received greetings for the European Rangers from all over the world: In October, they were still together with many of you at the European Ranger Congress in Tirana, Albania. Today, these rangers from El Salvador are with all the rangers of the world and especially with the ones from Europe and National Park Bavarian Forest, with whom they have a long friendship. Listen to what they, Michael and Lars, two of the partners from the Bavarian Forest National Park, who also represent our ERF Board, have to tell you.
Rangers from Africa, where two more members of our ERF Board are currently travelling, are also in their thoughts with all the rangers of the world. So too with Europe’s rangers, for whom our Project Officer Adam Turner captured World Ranger Day greetings from a SMART training, a digital monitoring tool, with rangers from across Africa and Georgia in Rwanda. And from Namibia, ERF Vice President Ilan Yeger brings a simple but essential appeal.
ERF President Urs Reif on his view of World Ranger Day 2023
Of course we also asked our President Urs what this special day means to him personally. Here is his view on World Ranger Day 2023:
Urs, what does World Ranger Day mean to you personally?
WRD for me means a day to celebrate rangers, their courage and motivation and their never ending work for biodiversity and protected areas.
How do you spend it this year?
In my park, we work with volunteers to set up information desks at various locations in the park to provide information about rangers and about the Thin Green Line Foundation (TGLF) and WRD. This year we have moved our celebrations to Sunday 6 August to reach more guests as there are many more visitors at weekends.
Which current main challenge for rangers should be addressed around that day this year?
There are so many challenges. For me, it is very important that all rangers are proud of their work and work together to improve working conditions in terms of salary, equipment, etc. in all countries. Biodiversity needs us more than ever!
What do you think connects all rangers worldwide?
I think that is the spirit of a ranger who works with high motivation on weekends etc. for the protection of nature and the connection of nature with people.