Honorary Rangers: 'A pillar of SANParks'
At a recent event SANParks CEO Dr David Mabunda called the SANParks Honorary Rangers a “pillar in the building of SANParks”. This is an indication of the important role the Honorary Rangers are playing in support of our national parks. This involvement is growing in strength, as was seen at the recent Honorary Rangers Indaba.
The SANParks Honorary Rangers recently held their annual general meeting at Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape. This event was attended by some 230 Honorary Rangers and senior SANParks staff.
The five-day Indaba was a mixture of meetings, training courses for members, exploration of the park and an opportunity to meet and converse with other honorary rangers from across South Africa. The Honorary Rangers of the Addo Region hosted the event and made a spectacular success of it. During the annual quiz, which was hosted by Quinton Coetzee of 50/50, the Honorary Rangers teams narrowly lost to the SANParks team. At the gala dinner on the Saturday evening, SANParks board member Professor Graham Kerley gave an interesting talk on Knysna elephants and European bison.
Members enjoy the annual Sasol Quiz between teams of the Honorary Rangers and SANParks.
The highlight of the event was the annual general meeting where feedback was given on achievements and decisions made on the future. National Executive Committee chairperson Janssen Davies highlighted some stunning results achieved during the previous year. This included a substantial growth in membership amongst all spheres of the South African population, bringing the membership to more than 1260 members. A focus area for the past year has been to increase the environmental educational outreach to the public to spread the conservation message. This showed a 29% growth from the previous year.
A special achievement was the overall contribution to SANParks, which showed a 25% growth despite the harsh economic realities. The contribution by the Honorary Rangers grew from R32 million during the previous year to R38 million during the 2011 book year.
Pretoria Region received the region of the year award for growth in membership and contribution on all levels. This region grew its environmental education contribution significantly and increased its contribution to SANParks by 421%.
Pretoria Region Chairperson Germari Pieterse with Glenn Phillips (SANParks), Janssen Davies (NEC Chairperson) and Andre van der Merwe (NEC vice-chairperson north and COO).
The project of the year was awarded to the Nampak Solid Waste Recycling project facilitated by the Johannesburg region. Nampak is busy installing a multi-million rand solid waste management and recycling system for the entire Kruger National Park and thereafter the project will be rolled out to other national parks.
A significant milestone was reached when Glenn Phillips, SANParks Managing Executive: Tourism Development and Marketing, and NEC Chairperson Janssen Davies signed a formal co-operation agreement, further cementing the relationship between the two organisations.
SANParks Honorary Rangers Chairperson Janssen Davies and NEC members Louis Lemmer and Mike Lodge look on as Glenn Phillips, SANParks Managing Executive: Tourism Development and Marketing, signs the cooperation agreement between SANParks and the Honorary Rangers.
SANParks Honorary Rangers are volunteers committed to conservation in support of SANParks, and we are achieving some excellent results through dedicated and passionate service and good solid working relations with SANParks. We are looking forward to another year of growth.
Find out more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers.