“In order to be effective, rangers need top quality equipment, training and resources, vital not only for their safety, their ability to protect wildlife, but also for their self-worth and the loyalty they feel to the difficult and dangerous task they are faced with.”– Keith Roberts, CEO of Conservation International.
Since 2003, more than 1,000 game rangers or eco-guards have been killed in the line of duty – protecting wildlife. These rangers are the boots on the ground risking their lives everyday in the war against poaching; operating in tough, dangerous conditions, and cover vast areas on foot each day.
AFEF is committed to helping provide boots on the ground to help rangers in their line of duty. It is vital that we help equip and train the eco-guards and rangers who protect the national parks and their elephants, and to work with the national parks agencies in Central Africa to ensure that the Congo Basin is the elephant haven it once was. We cannot do it without your help.
Donate now to help us put boots on the ground. All proceeds will go towards equipping 500 rangers with new boots and five pairs of durable socks. It doesn’t take a lot of money to buy a ranger some high quality boots and socks – yet it can make a huge difference.
Why is this important?
Many describe the Congo Basin as an an impenetrable paradise stretching as far as the eye can see seemingly uncorrupted by man. However the forest canopy is just a veil concealing the harsh reality that forest elephants are being slaughtered and their habitat being destroyed.
With a huge rise in ivory prices in the last two decades, driven by demand from China, the forest elephant populations of Central Africa have crashed. Poachers are taking advantage of the minimal infrastructure in this remote wilderness and consequently have almost unfettered access to many of the forests. The result was a sustained decade-long massacre in the most important haven for forest elephants in Africa. For example, between 2004 and 2012, Minkébé National Park in Gabon lost more than 11,000 elephants, representing a loss of 64% of the population in less than ten years. This devastating rate of decline, in the order of more than 1000 per year, is unsustainable and if this decline is not reversed forest elephants will be wiped out within the next decade.
However, the battle to save the forest elephants of Central Africa is not lost. We must rally around to ensure security in the rainforests to prevent poachers’ free reign over the most important forest elephant habitat on the continent.
“It doesn’t take a lot of money to buy a ranger eight pairs of socks. But if we can buy 2,000 pairs of socks and spread that across a couple national parks, it makes a huge difference. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but we spent a lot of time on the ground with the rangers, and we know from them that that’s what they want.” – Keith Roberts, CEO of Conservation International.