International Ranger Federation
UPDATE: ANPR life member Deanne Adams is the president of the International Ranger Federation. She was elected in November 2009 during the World Congress in Bolivia. ANPR life member Jeff Ohlfs is the North American representative.
The International Ranger
Federation was founded in 1992 with a signed agreement between the
Countryside Management Association, representing rangers in England and
Wales; the Scottish Countryside Ranger Association (SCRA); and the U.S.
Association of National Park Rangers (ANPR). The goals of this agreement
are to provide a forum for rangers from around the world to share their
successes and failures in protecting the world's heritage and to promote
information and technology transfer from countries in which protected area
management enjoy broad public and government support to countries in which
protected area management is less well supported.
Rangers from any country can join the IRF. The only requirements are that
they have an association of protected area professionals and that they
petition the IRF for affiliation. In other words, the IRF is a
federation of associations, not an association of individual members. Thirty-eight associations of
rangers, including national, state and territorial entities, have
affiliated with the IRF. Additionally, rangers from eight countries have
applied for provisional membership in IRF while they attempt to establish
ranger associations in their nations.
To achieve its goal
of providing a forum for communication among protected area
professionals, the IRF has sponsored three international congresses. The first was
held in Zakopane, Poland, in May 1995. About 135 representatives from 35
different countries spent a week discussing common problems and sharing
strategies for resolving these problems. Some 241 rangers and other
protected area specialists from 41 countries, including 17 from the
Western Hemisphere, gathered in September 1997, in San Josť, Costa Rica.
The theme of this Second World Congress was "The Ranger's Role in
Sustainable Development." Besides what they gained from the formal
sessions and workshops, many participants said the informal communication
networks that established with colleagues from other countries was the
most valuable result of their attendance at the congresses.
IRF met for its Third World Congress Sept. 10-17, 2000, in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Some 301 rangers from 58 countries participated, including delegates from almost all the African nations. The theme of the Congress, "The Role of the Ranger in 2000 and Beyond," encouraged delegates to think about the knowledge, skills and abilities that rangers will need to meet the increasing demands of their jobs in this new century.
The Fourth World Congress of the IRF was held in March 2003 at Wilsons Promontory National Park in Australia. Some 204 participants from 37 countries reviewed the knowledge, skills and abilities needed by modern rangers in the fields of interpretation, protection, visitor management and community involvement. Parks Victoria was the official host agency and the Australian Ranger Associations organized and presented the Congress.
The Fifth World Congress: June 2006 in Stirling, Scotland.
The Sixth World Congress: Nov. 2-7, 2009, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. More details are available about the weeklong proceedings, visit this site.
The Seventh World Congress: Nov. 4-9, 2012, in Tanzania, Africa. More details are at www.int-ranger.net.
Volunteers from North American ranger associations are needed to contribute to IRF work. Please read more information here.
For more information about IRF in general, visit the organization's website at www.int-ranger.net/