On July 31st of each year, World Ranger Day honors and celebrates the hard-working, dedicated Rangers world-wide who look after our planet’s protected areas and the wildlife and wild-species that live within these areas. The first World Ranger Day fell on the 15th anniversary of the founding of International Ranger Federation on July 31, 1992. The first World Ranger Day involved dozens of events around the globe, many showing a premiere of the ranger-produced film “The Thin Green Line.”
Here’s a bit more info about World Ranger Day and the International Ranger Federation (from the IRF website):
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
IRF is calling on its member associations, protected area agencies, individual rangers, sponsors, and the world public to initiate or join in an event or activity that recognises world conservation areas, and the professional staff – the Rangers – that form the Thin Green Line around these most valuable resources.
Ways in which you can recognise World Ranger Day:
- Invite the public to join your park in paying a moment’s respect to rangers who have lost their lives in the course of duty.
- Host a ranger seminar – collaborate with different Protected Area agencies in your geographic area.
- Mention the role of the world’s Rangers in a scheduled guided walk or talk with park visitors and partners.
- Host a special public event in or near your park dedicated to the work of Rangers in your particular area.
- Meet with your local communities, partners, and supporting groups to talk about the role of Rangers, the work of the IRF, and how they can help support Rangers and protected areas.
- Visit a school – engage the youth in the future of world parks, biodiversity, and conservation.
- Invite a Ranger from another country or park to join you and your co-workers for a week in your park, to include July 31.
- If you are a Ranger, meet with your colleagues to discuss World Ranger Day and the role of Rangers, including the work of IRF.
- Using World Ranger Day events, seek partners and donors interested in supporting and sustaining the work in your protected area, and the IRF.
- Have fun! Celebrate your role in protecting the world’s natural and cultural treasures.
A LITTLE HISTORY
In 1872, Yellowstone National Park in the United States became the world’s first federally designated national park. Since then, according to the IUCN, over 100,000 protected areas, representing more than 10% of the earth’s landmass, have been established around the world.
The English word “ranger” reflects the guardians of the Royal Forests in 14th century England, protecting the King’s lands from poachers. Today, Rangers in protected areas throughout the world continue this role for the public, not just for the royal families. Rangers are the key force protecting these resources from impairment. They do this through law enforcement, environmental education, community relations, fighting fires, conducting search and rescues, and in many many other ways.