Strengthening Ranger Training: A Vital Step in Combating Poaching and Protecting Wildlife
In Kazakhstan, biodiversity conservation relies heavily on our dedicated team of rangers, whose role is no easy feat. Operating across the vast expanse of the world’s largest dry steppe region, these remarkable individuals commit months of their year to patrolling protected areas, gathering vital data on endangered species, involving local communities and schools in conservation initiatives, and conducting anti-trafficking and anti-poaching activities.
To support government agencies in enhancing the training and safety of rangers, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of Kazakhstan’s existing professional development programs, as well as a review of international approaches to effective wildlife protection.
Additionally, in our commitment to fostering an exchange of experiences among rangers engaged in conservation activities, we organised a collaborative trip that involved senior management from the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. For more detailed information on this project, please refer to our earlier blog post at https://altyndala.org/earth-day-collaboration-for-restoration/.
The result of this work led to the creation of comprehensive training materials on best anti-poaching and law enforcement practices, developed by seasoned experts from the Karaganda Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Academy of Law Enforcement Agencies in Kazakhstan.
In June, the course was piloted at the Karaganda Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where it was successfully completed by 15 rangers and wildlife inspectors representing regional departments of the Committee of Forestry and Wildlife, the State Nature Reserve ‘Bokey Orda’, and Kazakhstan’s anti-poaching unit ‘Okhotzooprom’.
During the advanced training, participants developed their skills and knowledge across a wide range of areas. These included gaining insights into psychological behaviour analysis when confronting potential poachers, refining poaching tactics, mastering improved first aid skills, developing effective raid planning strategies, and delving into an in-depth session on law enforcement and international policy. Moreover, the session focused on the intricacies and protocols of appointing forensic environmental expertise, examining key provisions of the CITES convention, and reviewing essential legal procedures during arrests.
The last day of the course was dedicated to a practical simulation session on the application of the acquired knowledge in the field, including detention of poachers, emergency first aid and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for patrolling.
This work was conducted by ACBK in partnership with the Frankfurt Zoological Society as part of the Altyn Dala Nature Conservation Initiative. Looking ahead, the advanced training programme for inspectors will be further refined, incorporating valuable feedback from course participants. Subsequently, the program will be made available for permanent implementation within the environmental protection structures of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources.
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