Marco Lambertini launches Ranger for a Day
In October Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, launched WWF’s Ranger for a Day programme in Sumatra, Indonesia.
Ranger for a Day takes people of influence into the forest to experience life as a wildlife ranger to raise awareness of the essential role rangers play in protecting tigers and other endangered wildlife.
During the two-day trip into Rimbang Baling Wildlife Reserve, Central Sumatra, Marco took part in foot and boat patrols, met local communities, witnessed a simulated snare exercise and even imitated a tiger while setting up a new camera trap.
"Rangers are critical in helping communities preserve their natural heritage." - Marco Lambertini, WWF International Director General
Joining Marco as rangers for a day were Indonesian celebrities Davina Veronica and Nugie both passionate conservationists and long time supporters of WWF’s work.
"Being a ranger is a dream come true. I'm very proud to be a part of this" - Nugie, Musician and Conservationist
"It is an honour to experience another magnificent side of Indonesia" - Davina Veronica, Actress and Animal Rights Campaigner
Ranger activities vary from country to country but typically involve patrolling for signs of encroachment and poachers as well as working with the local communities.
Local communities have a unique knowledge of the forest and, often, livelihoods which depend on its natural resources. Working together and empowering communities is crucial if conservation is to succeed.
Sumatra is home to the last remaining Sumatran tigers. In 2010 a government estimate put the remaining tiger numbers at 400, however since then massive deforestation has taken place, wiping out prime tiger habitat and fragmenting what remains. We witnessed this first hand during our trip. The whole team silenced by the scale of the devastation.
While wide-scale burning continues across Sumatra, hopes for its tigers fade. An effective ranger force is their last chance.
Despite the essential role rangers play, daily putting their lives in danger, many are low paid, have little training and inadequate equipment.
WWF is working with the International Ranger Federation (IRF), the Ranger Federation of Asia (RFA) and PAMS Foundation to improve ranger standards.
WWF and partners are calling on governments to provide a minimum wage, training, career progression and insurance so these wildlife heroes receive the support and respect they deserve.
So please help WWF support #rangers and #doubletigers. Share this story and call upon governments to help those who spend their days protecting our planet’s most precious treasures.
Many thanks to WWF Indonesia, the Tiger Protection Unit, BBKSDA Rangers/SPORC Team, Batu Dinding Community Working Group, Tanjung Belit Village, Rimbang Baling.