It’s time to amplify the voices of female rangers around the globe! We need to celebrate their impactful work and empower them to continue in their quest to protect biodiversity.
That is what World Female Ranger Week (WFRW), taking place from 23 June – 30 June 2022, is all about. Structured around the values as laid out by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, WFRW is the brainchild of Holly Budge, Founder of How Many Elephants (an organisation seeking to educate a global audience on the devastating impacts of the African Elephant ivory trade).
According to Holly Budge, the wildlife and environmental conservation field remains male-dominated, with only 11% of the industry’s workforce made up of women. These women spend their days patrolling, conducting snare sweeps, and scoping out poachers in an effort to safeguard Africa’s most precious wildlife.
“Having patrolled with multiple ranger teams in Africa, I’ve seen first-hand how these brave women are impacting lives, protecting wildlife, uplifting communities, and empowering other women,” Holly Budge comments.
“WFRW highlights the significant gender imbalance in environmental conservation. My team and I will continue collating gender-specific data about female rangers globally, enabling us to identify their needs, find tangible solutions and help build effective policies to contribute towards positive outcomes; for female rangers and conservation as a whole.”
Along with honouring the women working in conservation, Holly Budge and her team are working to raise money to provide female rangers with the facilities, equipment and support they need to do their jobs effectively and safeguard wildlife and wilderness areas.
The sad reality is that the conservation sector hasn’t been immune to the far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. As everyone knows, COVID completely crippled tourism and significantly reduced funding for conservation projects globally. With fewer travellers planning safaris and visiting national parks, many rangers – male and female alike – lost their jobs or were forced to endure dramatic salary cuts. Holly Budge and the How Many Elephants team hope that WFRW can help make a difference and aid in rebuilding the industry.
Interested parties can make a donation to the cause via the WFRW website, www.worldfemalerangerweek.org, with 100% of the funds raised going directly towards the needs of female rangers.