Essential planetary health workers: Positioning rangers within global policy

Posted on July, 18 2023

Our planet is facing increasing challenges: climate change, biodiversity loss, pandemics, poverty, and many other problems closely linked to a deteriorating environment. Meanwhile, one of our most important assets, rangers working in protected and conserved areas responsible for managing large tracts of the planet’s lands and waters, are often underutilized, underrecognized and under-equipped. They are generally left out of the debate about conservation and sustainable development policy, despite being central to the success of those policies.

This paper outlines the need for global leaders across multiple sectors to recognize the profession of rangers as essential planetary health workers and to position rangers more effectively within global conservation and environmental policy mechanisms. It introduces the challenges facing rangers, the emerging diversity of roles within the ranger profession and the important contribution of rangers to conservation and sustainable development. It presents policy and implementation avenues to improve recognition and professionalization of rangers as key executors of conservation and development policy, particularly considering the recent Global Biodiversity Framework ambitions.