Several participants of the 7th World Ranger Congress have developed a draft Arusha Declaration 2012 (English version – versión Español). IRF member associations are being invited to provide comments on this draft. All comments will be reviewed and a final declaration developed for distribution in March – April 2013. Please send your comments or any questions to [email protected] before 28th February 2013.
Dear IRF members, partners and affiliates,
I have the great privilege today of writing to you as the new President of the International Ranger Federation. Having just returned from Africa after the 7th World Rangers Congress in Arusha, Tanzania, which was followed by further work on anti‐poaching and meetings, I am acutely aware of both the responsibilities and challenges facing the new IRF Executive Committee, the entire membership of the IRF/ Ranger family, and the Conservation profession.
Before I touch on some of these issues, I would firstly like to thank the outgoing IRF IEC for their dedication and commitment to the IRF and the rangers of the world. We have been, and will continue to be, a diverse organisation carrying wide‐ranging priorities. Through all of this the level of effort and commitment by all involved in the previous IRF IEC is unquestionable. Particular thanks go to outgoing President Deanne Adams who has also sat as a Director of The Thin Green Line Foundation during her tenure. My sincere thanks also go to outgoing IEC members Elaine Thomas, Joao Correia, Ana Carola Vaca Salazar and Andre Botha. Additionally a big thankyou to the 7th WRC organisers, Wayne Lotter, Krissie Clark, Escape Tanzania’s Linda and Boris, and the entire PAMS foundation team and volunteers who created an event that allowed for much inspiration, motivation, and old friendships reinvigorated and new ones formed.
The new IEC will be working very hard to build on the efforts of our predecessors, and to take the IRF to the next level for all Rangers.
It is a great personal honour to be entrusted with the Presidency of the International Rangers Federation, one which carries much responsibility to ensure meaningful progress for the IRF and for our Rangers on the ground. Along with our Vice President Wayne Lotter, Secretary Tegan Burton, Treasurer Meg Weesner and our great team of enthusiastic regional representatives, I am ready for the challenges and exciting opportunities that exist for the IRF.
As we finish the 7th World Rangers Congress and work hard with ANPR for the 8th in the USA in 2016, it is what we, as an entire IRF, do in between congresses that is most important.
Along with our new IEC, I will be aiming to:
• Create a financially sustainable IRF through innovative projects and partnerships;
• Increase the number of active Ranger associations affiliated with the IRF, particularly from less represented areas such as Asia, Africa and the Middle East;
• Increase the capacity and involvement of existing Ranger Associations particularly in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa, but also across the board;
• Ensure meaningful action and representation for Rangers on the ground; and
• Increase the networking and cooperative relationships between rangers, and ranger
associations, through Rangers without Borders, and Rangers working for Rangers.
Already since the conclusion of the 7th WRC, using the energy and enthusiasm generated, there have been great ideas and actions occurring by many who attended.
As the new IRF President, and building on work already started by Vice President Wayne Lotter, I have met with senior management at the Kenyan Wildlife Service to discuss establishing their Ranger Association; worked with Community Maasai Rangers near Amboseli in Kenya, who also hope to join the IRF; worked on an international approach to combating poaching, a direction and project which we hope will involve the entire IRF; and I have spoken with Dr Jane Goodall who is very keen on being involved in bringing more supporters to the table.
I am very excited by the potential the IRF has to make a meaningful difference for our Ranger profession and for conservation as a whole. This potential though can only be realised by working to a strong vision and with the hard work of the entire IRF membership, not just the IEC alone. We as rangers are our own best resource. A resource we must use. With our diverse skills, networks and standing in the international conservation world we can make giant leaps. Not only can we achieve much ‐ we simply must! If you think you’re too small to make a difference – you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito!
Thank you for the honour of representing you as President over the next term. Not only do I hope to achieve much with you and the new IEC, I will give everything I have to ensure we have made significant progress as we “mosey on in” to Colorado for the next World Ranger Congress in 2016.
Please feel free to contact me or any other member of the IEC at any time with your ideas, thoughts and projects. I look forward to working with you all.
Stay safe, and keep up your great work for conservation, in the most inspiring and meaningful professions the world has to offer.
Visit our 2012 WRC page for a summary of the events from the Organising Committee and a photo gallery – where you can upload your own photos to add to it!