9th IRF World Ranger Congress In Nepal
A beautiful memory and recapitulation of the congress by IRF
The never-ending flight to Kathmandu wasn’t by far the last piece of the trip. A night at an airport hotel was followed by a very early bus transfer along with other 30 rangers from all over the world who, along with us, were arriving to Sauraha after the initial ceremony. The WRC took place in the Seven Sea Star hotel. Our group included Milan Jeglik, Zuzana Kolouskova, Petr Coubal (all from the Forest for Children and lecturers of the NEPZ), Robo Javorsky (Slovakia – Slovak Paradise national park), Borek Franek (Central Bohemian Highlands nature reserve), Mira Rybar (Bohemian Switzerland national park), Honza Starovic and Hanka Hotarova (Bohemian Switzerland national park and honorary members of the Forest for Children). This team represented Czech and Slovak rangers and of course also Forest for Children projects.
The whole week was full of lectures, presentations, workshops, meetings, experience exchange, and mainly friendship and solidarity. A deep respect of one to another was in the core of the entire congress.
The huge company with a motto RANGER TO RANGER was represented by a retiring IRF president Sean Willmore who, at the end of his tenure, received a multi-minute standing ovation by 550 rangers from 71 countries of 5 continents. His service for the IRF was truly exemplar. He was replaced with a newly elected president Chris Galliers who has been focused on rhino conservation in the Republic of South Africa for many years. During the congress, we had an exceptional opportunity to be ones of the few to stand on a podium to present our world’s patrolling-monitoring project Eye of the Earth which offers national parks uncovering of poaching using photo traps, as well as our co-founding of the international education school program called Earth Ethics.
Our vision was met with a huge applause and an interest in cooperation which brought first exchange of contacts with rangers from Nepal, Congo, Uganda, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and other countries. The cooperation with the first four named seems to be the most promising. There was a street parade in Sauraha during the congress, and we took several excursions to Chitwan national park. The world’s ranger meeting took five days. Five days full of harmony, hope, courage, and respect. What a wonderful concert of human values from all over the world. It wasn’t easy to say goodbye and leave this successful event which will be repeated in 2022 at Azores islands where we’d like to introduce the cooperation with the Eye of the Earth after three years. The pinnacle of our work will be 2025 when, at the 11th IRF World Ranger Congress in Peru, we’ll publicly introduce the completed education program Earth Ethics which we will hand over to the International Ranger Federation and to all rangers from all countries that will be present. It is only up to you if you become a part of this huge energy which makes sense.
After the congress, we went to do filming of another episode of the NEPZ project to Bardia national park with Bengal tigers, elephants, and Indian rhinoceros. A Nepal ranger Hemanta became our guide. But we’ll talk about this journey next time.