Story | 26 Oct, 2020

Nominations open for the new International Ranger Awards

The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas is proud to announce the new International Ranger Awards.

Developed in collaboration with the International Ranger Federation, Global Wildlife Conservation, and Conservation Allies, these awards will recognise the remarkable work of rangers in protected and conserved areas around the world. Each Awardee will receive a unique uniform patch and their employing/supporting organisation will receive US$ 10,000 to support their work.

These new awards complement the existing and ongoing range of awards offered to rangers around the world, including the The IRF/IUCN Young Conservationist Award,  The IRF Lifetime Achievement Award, The Dr Jane Goodall Hope and Inspiration Ranger Award and The IRF President’s Award.

International Ranger Award LogoPhoto: IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas
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People need nature, wild places and green spaces, for our health and well-being, and for our water, air and food. Rangers are the people who care for those places and for those who need and enjoy them. 

Rangers are women, men, government staff, community members, landowners, indigenous peoples, NGO workers, volunteers and many more. 

They do all types of work: resisting poaching and land grabbing, guiding visitors, fighting fires, providing an early warning system for threats and problems. Rangers often work for little reward and with much risk; more than 1000 have been killed in the line of duty in the past decade.

Nominees must be protected or conserved area rangers (individuals/teams) and residents of the country where they are working. Eligible rangers/teams must be working in a recognised protected or conserved area either as employees or as part of a recognised ranger team (including formally established voluntary, community, and indigenous teams). 

For the purposes of this award, the definition of a ranger is as follows:

Any mandated person working at the site-level as a custodian of species, habitats, ecosystems, and cultural heritage. Rangers conserve terrestrial and marine protected and conserved areas, whether state, regional, communal, indigenous, or privately managed, in line with legal and institutional frameworks. Their work may combine various roles, including:

  • conserving and restoring protected and conserved areas
  • maintaining area integrity and rule of law
  • developing and maintaining trusting and respectful relationships with communities and stakeholders
  • engaging and supporting local communities
  • addressing human-wildlife interactions
  • monitoring wildlife and habitats
  • assisting and supporting visitor activities
  • providing education and awareness

There will be 10 awards of $10,000 USD. This can be spent in any way that assists the ranger and their team in conducting their work. In addition, each winning ranger will receive a custom uniform patch signifying the award. All nominations will first be considered based on eligibility and the award criteria. A shortlist will be identified and nominators of those on the shortlist may be contacted for further details. The shortlist will then be reviewed and narrowed down to 10 winners by a judging panel comprising representatives of the supporting organisations. The criteria include, but are not limited to:

  • Exceptional personal commitment and dedication to a recognised protected or conserved area;
  • Outstanding service to or by local communities when resolving threats affecting protected or conserved areas;
  • Valour in the face of overwhelming challenges or grave threats;
  • Demonstrated exceptional impact of the nominees’ contribution;
  • Outstanding leadership to resolve extraordinary situations or crises.

Nominations must come from IUCN Member organisations, WCPA members, or International Ranger Federation member associations. Self-nominations will be not accepted.

Detailed information on eligibility and how to nominate a ranger or team is available here.

To nominate a ranger or team, please fill out this nomination form (also available in French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish). Please note that all nominations must include details of a recognised organisation able to transparently receive, distribute, administer, and account for the award funds.

Nominations are open from 17 November 2020 to 31 December 2020, after which no more applications will be accepted. Awards will be announced in early 2021.

If you have any questions regarding the awards or nomination, please contact

Global Wildlife Conservation LogoPhoto: Global Wildlife Conservation
Conservation Allies LogoPhoto: Conservation Allies Logo





To download the full announcement details as a PDF, click on the thumbnail below: