Rangers and Conservation
Why It Matters
Protect nature and human health
We’re losing biodiversity at an alarming rate, due to expanding human activities and climate change. Rangers increasingly are the first to observe and act to threats that jeopardize the health of nature and people. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of rangers in maintaining the balance between nature and humans. In their role as first responders, they may help to prevent future global pandemics.
Manage and monitor protected areas and conserved areas
Rangers are one of the key foundations to successfully manage, protect, and maintain the integrity of protected and conserved areas. They help identify potential threats to biodiversity and species, collect data on wildlife, and work closely with communities to conserve these areas and natural resources. Rangers also defend against illegal wildlife activities like poaching, deforestation, and illegal fishing—some of the greatest threats to many of the world’s most endangered species. Rangers patrol, remove snares, and monitor wildlife and their habitat. A professional, competent, motivated, and responsible ranger workforce is pivotal to halting wildlife crime.
Support local communities and livelihoods
State and government rangers can build local goodwill for protected and conserved areas by helping local communities to sustainably manage the natural resources and ecosystem services—the benefits that nature provides—that they depend on. However rangers also have a duty to respect and protect human rights in communities living in and alongside protected and conserved areas. Indigenous people and local communities are important stewards for nature and should be empowered, including through employment as rangers, to ensure traditional/cultural knowledge is maintained and applied to the management of these areas.