Protecting our wildlife across Africa is no longer what it used to be. Dedicated individuals across the marine and terrestrial sectors work tirelessly to keep our heritage safe.
During this global pandemic, let us not forget about our rangers. As lockdowns are implemented across the world, rangers are being classified as essential services in South Africa to ensure our wildlife are protected and we encourage the rest of Africa to follow suit.
To date, worldwide over 1000 rangers lost their lives in the line of duty in the past decade. According to records kept by the International Ranger Federation (IRF) and Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA), over 370 African rangers have died since 2012.
With this in mind, GRAA and SATIB Insurance Brokers launched a vital project called Ranger Protect in December 2018 with the aim to support and protect our rangers and their families. The partnership allowed for the creation of this unique product for rangers across Africa, offering death and disability cover 24/7, even when rangers are off duty. To date, they are proud to be covering almost 1400 rangers for 2020.
Ranger Protect aims to garner financial support to ensure the well-being of Africa’s rangers and their families through the provision of adequate insurance cover in the event of injury or death. Medical evacuation cover also ensures rangers have peace of mind that should an emergency arise they will receive support.
“We recognise that for rangers to confidently perform their duties in the field, they need access to the best critical incident management and evacuation services and adequate insurance protection, knowing that if they are wounded in the line of duty that they will receive adequate support. Apart from their own welfare, rangers also seek to have their families supported, should an unfortunate event occur. We have been on a long road to develop insurance plans for rangers across Africa at a rate that rangers / sponsors can afford.” Andre du Toit, Director – SATIB Insurance Brokers.
There are estimated to be over 40 000 rangers in Africa.
“These rangers are the guardians of our wilderness and conservation areas. They conserve and protect both marine and terrestrial ecosystems that are critical to the health of our planet. It is incumbent on all of us to make a difference to those on the frontlines of conservation efforts by ensuring they are adequately protected from the risks they face. We call on those who support conservation to join us in supporting this important cause.” Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive Officer – Game Rangers Association of Africa.
The Living Planet report showed that populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians had declined on average by 60% between 1970 and 2014. The brave men and women that work on the frontline to protect these species are under threat on a daily basis. They are operating in extreme environments, and in their efforts to protect our natural heritage, face the risks associated with confronting armed poachers and militia groups, dangerous wild animals, sickness and community backlash.
“I chose to be a game ranger because I want to protect our wildlife for the future generations, but we face dangers all the time and this worries our families. I would really appreciate seeing my family being supported if I get injured at work, because then I know that they would not lack any needs during my absence. This gives us confidence, because this way our families support our work more.”
In Africa, a WWF survey conducted found that 40% of rangers were not covered by health insurance, 50% had no life insurance and 60% had no long-term disability insurance.
Biodiversity and thriving ecosystems provide both tangible and intangible benefits to society and rangers play a crucial role in ensuring healthy ecosystems. It is therefore of great importance that rangers receive all the support necessary to perform their duties within these challenging environments.
Covers are currently available for rangers in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique, Angola, Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda with further territories being introduced in time.
Help our rangers by sponsoring their insurance for a year. It will cost you just R431! That is less than R10 a week.
The cost of each ranger includes:
- Game Ranger’s Association Membership (benefits include training bursaries, networking opportunities, and so forth)
- 24/7 Death and disability cover of up to $6,500.00