Ranger Clair at the World Ranger Congress

Clair Payne, Ranger, South Lakes Clair Payne Ranger, South Lakes
Published : 17 May 2016 Last update : 02 Jun 2016

Clair Payne, Ranger from the south Lakes was representing the National Trust at this year's World Ranger Congress.

Every three years, the International Ranger Federration (IRF) organises a gathering of rangers from all around the world to share stories, learn new skills, create lasting partnerships and experiences of what it is like to be at the front line, protecting the world’s most special places.
Clair and Chris Wood (Ranger at the North York Moors and Yorkshire Coast Properties) were chosen to represent the National Trust at the 8th congress in May.  

I'm back! 

320 delegates from 63 countries gathered together to celebrate the ranger profession through a series of talks, workshops and of course, various social events. What an experience. I am now back and full to the brim with ideas and inspiration after meeting rangers from places as far apart as Canada, Kenya, Finland, the Galapagos and Mongolia. 

A mark of respect  

The names of 60 rangers that had died in the course of service since the last world ranger day (31 July 2015) were read out during the opening flag ceremony as a mark of respect. This was quite harrowing and a grave reminder of the dangers that some rangers face in the course of saving wildlife from poaching or preventing the spread of wildfire. 

Discussing the issues 

We discussed issues facing rangers today including comparing the effects of climate change in our national parks, how we can engage the youth of today in protected area management and how national parks coexist with indigenous cultures.

One particular highlight was a very inspiring talk by Harvey Locke - Protected Areas and Rangers: An Essential Partnership for the Future of Life. Harvey thanked the world’s rangers for ‘fighting the most important fight of all’ and we heard his arguments for formally protecting 50% of the planet to ensure the survival of nature (‘Nature needs half’ theory).

Seeing the Rocky Mountains 

We also got out on an exciting field trip into the Rocky Mountain National Park. Gem Lake made a fantastic break from being inside a conference room! 
The next World Ranger Congress will be in Nepal in 2019, to help celebrate their zero poaching achievement!  

More from Clair to follow once she's unpacked her thoughts and rucsack! 

National Trust rangers at the 2016 World Ranger Congress

Ranger Chris Wood at the 2016 World Ranger Congress 

Ranger Chris Wood attends this year's World Ranger Congress in Colorado.