The Australian Government is investing $100,000 to help build and develop the capacity of our rangers across the Asia Pacific and Oceania regions.
The funding will help build new training courses in our universities to help rangers build their skills in finance, administration and modern technologies.
Our rangers, whether they work in national parks, Indigenous Protected Areas, marine reserves, conservation reserves or private land, are the cornerstone to protecting Australia’s environment.
They are the frontline troops who look after our parks and protected areas around the world. Managing national parks is an increasingly sophisticated business.
Rangers need to be experts in environmental management but they also need the financial and administration skills that you’d find in any business.
The funding will go to the Protected Areas Research and Learning Collaboration, a partnership between many of our great universities and the Tasmanian Land Conservancy.
It will help develop curricula in natural resource management and help the Collaboration establish agreements with other key universities in our region.
It is great to see the universities co-operate in this way, working together to ensure that park rangers and managers across Australia, indeed across the Asia-Pacific region, are given first-class support to excel at their jobs.
The University of Tasmania, James Cook University, Charles Darwin University and Murdoch University in Perth are driving this initiative to build ranger capacity.
Jane Hutchinson, Chief Executive Officer of the Tasmanian Land Conservancy and co-founder of the initiative, welcomed the support of the Australian Government.
“This is a great opportunity for us to really assist the professionals out in the field. Our first operating year will be 2015 when we intend to start providing short courses, graduate certificate and masters courses that specifically address competencies for rangers outlined in international frameworks.”
The courses will draw on competencies from the IUCN Global Partnership for Professionalizing Protected Areas Management framework.
The funding commitment will be delivered through the Director of National Parks, Sally Barnes, and her team at Parks Australia.
The Protected Areas Research and Learning Collaboration will be officially launched at the IUCN World Parks Congress on Saturday 15 November 2014 by Margaret Britz, Dean of the founding university, the University of Tasmania.