Association of protected area professionals


IRF Participation Requested at World Parks Congress in Australia

Posted on February 2nd in IRF, Oceania.
The next World Parks Congress will be held in Sydney, Australia, 12 – 19 November 2014. This IUCN congress is only held every 10 years, with the theme this year being “Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions”.

As with the last WPC in Durban, South Africa, 2003, the IRF is aiming to have a strong voice at this event with extensive representation from the people on the ground. Fortunately the IUCN agrees, suggesting that “We would love as many rangers as possible to attend the WPS, and there will be numerous occasions for them to take active part in sessions and make presentations.” Of course all of this will only be possible with YOUR assistance and participation!

Firstly, all the latest information about the Congress is here:

The call for content is currently open, with the deadline for proposals being 15th March. Proposals can be submitted in English, French or Spanish. They must also be just 350 words, so keep them brief! More information here:

The Congress is being organised around 8 different streams, and 4 cross-cutting themes. IRF hopes to see Rangers presenting in every stream across the congress so we urge you to please consider submitting a proposal. We also ask when submitting your proposal that you note in your introduction that you are a ranger or other field-based worker, and that you focus not just on challenges but on solutions and positive outcomes, as these will be given the highest priority.


Registrations are currently open, with the earlybird discount rate available until 30th June 2014. Information here:  Note that if you are coming from a ‘developing country’ your registration is just $385.


The Congress organisers have announced funding ‘to assist selected participants from developing nations with specific travel costs and Congress registration fees’. Applications close on 30th March. More information here: If you require assistance with the application paperwork or a letter of endorsement, please let the IRF know. Also please note that this funding is very limited so please only try to access it you have no chance of being funded by your workplace or through other sources. The IRF is also seeking funding to be able to offer sponsorships for the congress, however we know that this will only be limited and therefore encourage you to seek funding directly from other sources as well.

OTHER . . .

All IRF participants will be provided with a standard uniform shirt to wear, to make us identifiable and increase awareness of Rangers participating. We are also working closely with the Protected Area Workers Association in NSW and with other Australian ranger associations to be able to offer assistance with logistical requirements such as transport and accommodation, and also some pre- or post-congress field trips or work stays for those who may be interested.

I look forward to seeing you at the World Parks Congress in November, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions.


Tegan Burton
International Ranger Federation

French Gardes pilot Junior Ranger Training Program

Posted on December 16th in Uncategorized.

Parc Naturel Régional Scarpe-Escaut, in the northeast of France, have enlisted 26 schoolchildren as Junior Rangers.  Read more about the program here:  Junior Rangers Training Program (PDF)

July-October Newsletter (Español and Portugês)

Posted on November 17th in IRF.

La delgada línea verde boletín de julio a octubre ha sido traducido al español.  Gracias a Rebeca Mencos de traducir!

O boletim Linha julho-outubro Verde fino foi traduzido em Português.  Graças a Miliany Campos para traduzir!

IRF Newsletter Archives

Launch of Mentoring, Coaching, and Exchange Program

Posted on November 11th in IRF, WRC.

Note from Andrew Nixon:

I am managing a project on behalf of the IRF Executive – Mentoring, Coaching and Exchange for Protected Area Professionals (MC&Ex) I wanted to let you know of this, particularly as it was introduced at the World Ranger Congress (see congress summation).  At Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge Wayne Lotter, together with Moses Wafula Mapesa presented the session ‘Global Partnerships for the Professionalising of Protected Area Management’.  This is a project that can and will have direct value to IRF members and the world ranger community.

So, you may be interested?

The project is part of an IUCN – WCPA initiative over the next 3 years. Under the program banner of the Global Partnerships for the Professionalising of Protected Area Management, IRF is delivering the MC&Ex project, one of four, for the Education and Learning Work Group chaired by WCPA member Eduard Muller.

At last year’s World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea, three months prior to the World Ranger Congress, the IRF had made a commitment to take a lead in this particular aspect of the program. We were able to outline the project and our commitment at Wayne and Moses’ presentation. The ‘Rangers without Borders’ project (Jay Wells and Elaine Thomas) also has a strong connection to this new IRF action.

To make this happen I would be interested to hear from any member association persons who may like to play a small part. In this early stage, the next few months, I will be working on scoping the project. It is intended to introduce each of the four Education & Learning Work Group projects at next year’s World Parks Congress, Sydney Australia. You may like to have a look at the WCPA-IUCN webpage.  If you would like to connect with me and other IRF colleagues on this project let me know via email.

I look forward to hearing from some keen rangers!

Andrew Nixon
Victorian Rangers Association, Australia

July-October 2013 Newsletter Available

Posted on November 10th in IRF.

The latest Thin Green Line newsletter is now available, covering July-October 2013.

IRF Newsletter Archives

New Newsletter Available

Posted on September 22nd in IRF.

The latest Thin Green Line newsletter is now available, covering Jan-June 2013.

IRF Newsletter Archives

Call for Applications – Conservation Leadership Programme Awards

Posted on September 16th in Uncategorized.

2014 Conservation Leadership Programme Awards

Deadline: 11th November 2013

The Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) aims to advance biodiversity conservation globally by building the leadership capabilities of early-career conservation professionals working in places with limited capacity to address high-priority conservation issues. This partnership initiative, including BirdLife International, Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, and Wildlife Conservation Society, has been building conservation leaders across the world for over 25 years. The Programme currently works toward its aims by offering awards, training and mentoring support. The CLP offers three levels of Conservation Awards:  

CLP projects must occur in and be led by nationals of countries excluded from the World Bank list of high-income economies across Africa, Asia, Eastern and South-eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, where there tends to be fewer resources and capacity for conservation. Exceptions include some high-income economies located in some temperate and tropical areas of high biological diversity but thought to have low national capacity for conservation, including the Pacific Islands, Caribbean Islands and the Middle East. Check country eligibility here.

The application deadline for full proposals is 11th November 2013 for ALL applications. Those applying for Conservation Follow-up and Conservation Leadership Awards must submit a Logical Framework to the CLP by Tuesday, 1st October 2013. CLP will provide feedback on all logical frameworks by 16th October and, based on this review, will either invite applicants to submit a full proposal or not. Awards will be announced in April 2014. Please visit the CLP website for detailed eligibility criteria, guidelines and an application form.

Successful applicants will: 1.) Develop the knowledge, skills and abilities of team members; 2.) Implement a focused, high-priority conservation project combining research and action; and 3.) Contribute to the long-term success of local conservation efforts. All eligible teams submitting an application will receive feedback on their proposal.

The CLP is piloting an Alumni Ambassador Programme this year whereby Future Conservationist Award applicants can request feedback on their proposals from CLP alumni in their region prior to submission. More information on this programme is found on the CLP website. Applicants may also contact a member of the CLP team well before and up to two weeks before the application deadline for advice on project eligibility, methods and project activities. The CLP may be able to put teams in touch with local partner offices or other experts who can provide additional advice.

A representative from each award-winning team will be invited to attend an international training event in June/July 2014 organized by the CLP to share ideas and develop skills, knowledge and contacts. Additionally, winning teams are able to network with experts from within each of the partner organisations and past winners. CLP team members are available to help with project implementation, including guidance required during the planning and team training stages.

Have additional questions or seeking advice? Email for more information

World Ranger Day 2013

Posted on July 26th in IRF, World Ranger Day.

World Ranger Day is on July 31, 2013.  Visit our World Ranger Day page to read a message from Prince William – Duke of Cambridge, and view a video message from Dr. Jane Goodall.  You’ll also find an updated Honour Roll for Rangers who have fallen in the line of duty in the last year (French and Spanish versions coming soon).

i want to be

Photo: Michelle A. Slavin/UNITE for the Environment, North Carolina Zoo

Willmore and William

Posted on May 25th in IRF.

A message from IRF President Sean Willmore on the meeting this week with HRHs Princes Charles and William:

Hi all,

It was an honour to be asked to be part of the wonderful initiative on Illegal Wildilfe Trade at St James Palace, and it was great that the representation of the Worlds Rangers was sort out by Prince Charles’ team.

Princes Charles and William delivered an energetic and compelling case and they have my own, and I dare say the World’s Rangers, full support going forward.

I am extremely grateful for our inclusion, and the opportunity to represent rangers and their families, and being asked to help with the agenda for the upcoming illegal wildlife forum for Heads of State. I found out we were invited following the CITES conference in Bangkok, after the UK representatives, and that of the Princes’ Charities, heard of our intervention and side events there.

I met with both Prince Charles and Prince William in ‘one on one’ sessions. I was also very humbled and grateful for Prince William’s and Prince Charles’ genuine interest, questions, and ideas in supporting the plight of our rangers and their families as a conservation imperative.

Prince William agreed that our work mirrors the three pillars of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry; these being Military (anti-poaching), Children (support of the orphans and widows of rangers), and of course Conservation, and that he was interested in continuing the conversation and following up on their potential support for Rangers. I have already started this with their aides.

Prince Charles asked about what was required to give the widows and children of the 1000 rangers killed, support and dignity and he said that he was interested in pursuing it given that it’s relatively achievable ($2 million). I also presented him with a copy of The Thin Green Line film to which he gratefully accepted.

I have already had follow-up conversations with their Royal Highnesses and their teams.

I will be here in London until June 1st and I am happy to avail myself should they wish to further discuss this in person, and in progressing the discussion for the Heads of State Agenda for later in the year, from our frontline perspective.

I will also be catching up with the UK rangers and having a meeting with Jane Goodall. I’ve also met with Born Free to get tax deduction status for TGLF in the UK.

We will be doing a big media release shortly with some great photos of Prince William holding a baby TGLF t-shirt and the caption “A Junior Ranger in the Ranks”

We are hopeful this photo will be used worldwide.

I’ll then be heading to Uganda, Kenya and maybe DRC to talk about ranger associations and priorities there.

Meanwhile the African Indigenous Exchange is going beautifully according to Peter Cleary who is guiding them through Kakadu National Park. They are now in Darwin..

Photos and more coming soon.

Best to you all.
Sean Willmore
International Ranger Federation

Prince Willliam and T Prince Charles Sean and Wil

Newsletter Archives now online

Posted on February 7th in Uncategorized.

Find past issues of The Thin Green Line and Guardaparque from the link on the right column of this page.

II Carta del nuevo Presidente de FIG

Posted on January 20th in Uncategorized.

Tengo  el  gran  privilegio  hoy  de  dirigirme  a  usted  como  nuevo  presidente  de  la Federación Internacional de Guardaparques. Acabo de regresar de África después del
Séptimo Congreso Mundial de Guardaparques en Arusha, Tanzania, que fue seguido por el trabajo futuro sobre la lucha contra la caza furtiva y diferentes reuniones, soy
plenamente  consciente  de  las  responsabilidades  y  desafíos  que  enfrenta  el  nuevo
Comité Ejecutivo de FIG, todos los miembros de la familia FIG / Guardaparques, y la
profesión de la Conservación.

IRF presidents letter_10-12-2012_espanol  (PDF)

Arusha Declaration

Posted on January 20th in Africa, IRF, WRC.

Several participants of the 7th World Ranger Congress have developed a draft Arusha Declaration 2012 (English versionversión 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 before 28th February 2013.

Letter from the New President

Posted on December 22nd in Africa, IRF.

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.

Yours Sincerely,
Sean Willmore
International Rangers Federation

2012 IRF President’s Award – Osvaldo Barassi Gajardo

Posted on December 10th in IRF, South America.

Osvaldo Barassi Gajardo, a ranger with roots in Chile and now advocating for rangers in Brazil, was awarded the President’s Award at 7th World Ranger Congress in November 2012.

“Osvaldo has been an outstanding contributor to IRF over the past 3 years,” said President Deanne Adams at the award ceremony. “His passion for rangers and conservation shows in all the actions he takes for IRF. He fully understands the value of IRF to conservation and is a strong advocate for rangers and for IRF.”

In particular Osvaldo was given the President’s Award for:

  • Leading the Spanish Translation Team as they translated for IRF:
    • Guardaparque newsletter published every 2 months – English and Spanish versions (6 issues a year)
    • Thin Green Line newsletter published every 3 months – English and Spanish versions (4 issues a year)
    • IRF website and Facebook
    • IRF internal correspondence to the IEC and to IRF Members
    • IRF external correspondence
  • Establishing a website and Facebook for Spanish speaking rangers
  • Providing the primary actions that lead to the establishment of a new ranger association in Brazil – that association joined IRF during the Congress
  • Being the IRF representative in our partnership with ACT Brazil (ECAM) to improve the recognition of the profession of park guards in Brazil and to expand training to those park guards.
  • Support of the 7th World Ranger Congress including translations of materials (“Osvaldo is a star,” said Congress co-chair Krissie Clark.)

“Osvaldo has so much energy and is always positive with the big smile,” said President Adams at the end of the ceremony.  “If you need something done, ask Osvaldo and it is accomplished.”

WRC Report from the International Anti-Poaching Foundation

Posted on December 3rd in Uncategorized.

Another report on the WRC, including information on Rangers Without Borders.

7th World Ranger Congress Concludes

Posted on November 18th in Africa, IRF.

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!

Rangers get Kudos from IUCN-WCPA

Posted on November 11th in IRF.

A letter to rangers from the Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas:


Dear participants in the World Ranger Congress and organizations involved such as International Ranger Federation and Thin Green Line Foundation:

It is a great honour for me to through your leadership to address all those assembled in Arusha, Tanzania in this very relevant event.

An international group of experts met today at the Zoological Society of London to discuss protected area strategies. The overwhelming evidence suggests that management effectiveness is the single most important factor in conservation success within protected areas. And management effectiveness relies primarily on rangers, who are in the front line of protection/conservation. At tonight’s dinner, participants at the meeting joined with me in sending a message of support to the International Rangers’ Federation conference. The collaborative programme between IRF and WCPA, agreed at the Healthy Parks Healthy People conference in Australia in 2010 and reinforced at the World Conservation Congress in Korea in 2012, provides a joint platform which we regard as extremely important.

We also remembered fellow rangers who have died in the line of duty safeguarding the precious natural capital that belongs to all generations. Without rangers/field conservationists/wardens/guardaparques, or whatever designation we choose, protected areas would never have risen to be considered the “best” tool for nature conservation.

I have pledged to make conservationists on the ground such as yourselves, and increasingly local an indigenous communities who are actively participating in protected areas through the recognition of a broad range of governance types, the center of our capacity building efforts at the World Commission on Protected Areas.

Each one of you is a respected leader in her or his own right wherever you are working passionately for conservation.

In sending you our very best wishes personally and in representation of WCPA, I look forward to continued dialogue and collaboration for nature and people.


Ernesto C. Enkerlin-Hoeflich

Chair, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas

Australian Firefighters Seriously Injured in Wildfire

Posted on October 16th in Incident, Oceania.

Two staff from the West Australian Department of Environment and Conservation were critically injured on October 12 after being trapped in their truck while undertaking wildfire suppression in a nature reserve.

Our Facebook page will have all the latest updates as to their condition.

The truck was burnt out

2012 International Young Conservationist Award recipient announced

Posted on September 6th in South America, YCA.

Elisângela Sales Dos Santos, a twenty-seven year old from Brazil, was last night awarded the 2012 IRF – IUCN/WCPA International Young Conservationist of the Year Award.

The award was presented in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the training of indigenous park guards in the Brazilian Amazon, and for the work she has done to improve the recognition of the profession of park guards in Brazil.

It was officially presented at the WCPA meeting held during the IUCN World Conservation Congress.

The award was sponsored by Parks Victoria and the George Wright Society.

More information here.

New International Ranger Federation Website

Posted on August 18th in IRF.

Welcome to our new website