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