Africa Travel Week (ATW) will be joining thousands of tourism stakeholders tomorrow (June 23) to celebrate the inaugural World Female Ranger Day, which recognises female anti-poaching rangers throughout Africa.
Initiated by How Many Elephants (HME), World Female Ranger Day (WFRD) will spotlight the women who have dedicated their careers and lives to conserving Africa’s wildlife.
To accompany the first-ever awareness day that supports female anti-poaching rangers, How Many Elephants has created an online platform where female rangers, from around the world, can come together to tell their stories, access peer support, offer and receive advice and share their knowledge with each other. The aim of the platform is to help them feel heard, united and unstoppable, while raising vital funds to support their work.
One female ranger per year will be granted the World Female Ranger Award, giving them international recognition. People will be able to nominate a female ranger for the award via the platform from June 23 and the winner will be announced August 25.
In addition to promoting this initiative, Africa Travel Week will participate in the seven-day challenge, which aims to raise funds to support female rangers in Africa, says Megan Oberholzer, Reed Exhibitions South Africa Portfolio Director Travel, Tourism and Creative Industries.
“As part of the fundraising initiative, we will recruit our own walking team and set up a page through the World Female Ranger Day online platform to raise funds for these worthy women. We’re excited to be part of the challenge and are looking forward to challenging others in the industry to support this great initiative.”
Further features on the World Female Ranger Day platform include:
- Meet the Rangers: supporters can read about, and hear from, the beneficiaries of WFRD.
- Donate to the Rangers: supporters can choose to buy boots, GPS units and uniforms for the rangers, or donate an amount of their choice.
- Send a Message to the Rangers: supporters can send a voice message directly to female rangers through an embedded recording functionality.
- Free Resources: supporters can download free social media assets, educational resources, such as school lesson and assembly plans for students aged 5-16 years old, and other fundraising resources.
- Blog: supporters can stay up-to-date with on-the-ground conservation efforts in Africa.
- WFRD Merchandise Shop: WFRD-branded T-shirts, hoodies, Tote bags and more can be purchased to raise awareness and support the female rangers.
“We are especially encouraged that this World Female Ranger Day is just the beginning of an initiative that seeks to provide ongoing support for female rangers,” adds Oberholzer.
Through the WFRD initiative, HME aims to collate gender-specific data about female anti-poaching rangers. This will support HME and conservation organisations in identifying the needs of female rangers, in finding tangible solutions, and in building effective policies to contribute towards positive outcomes for female rangers and conservation as a whole.
HME is dedicated to supporting conservation efforts so that elephants, and other iconic species, can be protected. By creating WFRD, wild animals will have a greater chance of survival, as there will be a stronger presence of anti-poaching rangers on the front line.
Africa’s elephants are at an increased risk of extinction due to being poached for their ivory tusks and losing their natural habitats due to human activity.
In addition to this, COVID-19 has presented further problems for wildlife, as tourism and funding for conservation organisations have been drastically reduced. The work of anti-poaching rangers is paramount right now.