WIOMSA celebrates Marine Rangers on World Ranger Day 31st July 2020
Marine Rangers in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region work tirelessly to protect some of the region’s important marine habitats and species like marine turtles, sharks and dugongs – animals that are also among the most widely targeted by poachers for the illegal wildlife trade.
Today WIOMSA celebrates the WIO rangers who have made tremendous contributions and sacrifice to protect our marine heritage for the benefit of communities and the WIO region at large.
The WIO region has more than 100 marine protected areas (MPAS) that are managed by dedicated marine rangers. These brave men and women do incredible work and face immense and dangerous challenges that include being able to operate in the wild and treacherous conditions that the oceans throw at them. They protect species that are at as high risk and regularly face armed and dangerous poachers that are intent on plundering the wealth of the seas.
In the WIO region, marine rangers work extends beyond just protecting marine species. The rangers are also the ambassadors of the oceans, helping and educating communities and securing and protecting vital fisheries grounds to ensure the sustainability of food resources that feed these communities. In many places in the WIO region, marine rangers are often the first responders when communities need support, for example, when fishing or boating accidents happen.
WIOMSA is committed to continuing to support marine rangers in the WIO region through capacity building and professionalization in the WIO-COMPAS programme (https://www.wio-compas.org/). WIOMSA would also like to thank other partners who have been supporting marine rangers in the WIO region including the Game Rangers Association, Ranger Project and Oceans Without Borders.
Remember, on this day, and every day, our marine rangers need our full support and respect in protecting the environment on which we all depend.