Celebrating World Ranger Day!

To celebrate World Ranger Day on 31 July this year, we interviewed some of the Wildlife Rangers we support across Sumatra and Borneo. We asked them what they love about their role, some of the challenges they face, and how their work is making a difference. We’re delighted to share three of these stories here. Thank you to Sumini, Berjayan, Aries, and all Wildlife Rangers for the challenging and crucial work you do.

Ibu Sumini, a HAkA staff member, is Chair of the Damaran Baru Village Management Group and works closely with Sumatra’s first ever Women's Ranger Team

What do you love about your work?

“I wanted to be a ranger to protect the forest because that's where our source of life comes from - like our drinking water. Apart from protecting these natural resources that our community depends on, I want to know about the potential for green livelihoods that exist in our village forest area.”

What are some of the main challenges you face?

“My everyday role as a housewife is a challenge, because when patrolling and monitoring I leave my husband and children at home, but for me protecting the forest is also part of protecting our lives. The terrain is quite difficult to patrol for women but my team of women and I are not discouraged by that because of our passion to protect our forest.”

How is your work making a difference?

“In 2015, flash floods devastated our village and we knew that was because too many trees were cut down and the area had become too barren. Since beginning our patrols in the 251 hectares of this protected forest, logging has begun to decrease and poaching of animals like birds and serows is now minimal and starting to disappear.”


Berjaya Elahan is the Head of the HUTAN Honorary Wildlife Wardens at the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Borneo

What do you love about your work?

“I am personally very interested in wildlife and I feel a sense of responsibility to protect our natural heritage that is being eroded and destroyed because of human activities."

What are some of the main challenges you face?

“It is not easy to be a warden and to do enforcement activities. First we have erratic working hours and it is sometimes physically straining and tiring to patrol the forest. Second, we often come across people who don’t understand the importance of wildlife; this is very frustrating. Third, our activities can be dangerous, especially when we are confronting armed poachers."

How is your work making a difference?

“Enforcing laws is necessary to prevent illegal activities and wildlife extinction. Our collaboration with the Sabah Wildlife Department has been successful in reducing the number of cases of encroachment in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. Poaching and wildlife trade are a global issue: we need to be mobilized to stop it and to deter people from purchasing illegal animal parts.”


Aries is the Field Coordinator at the Sumatran Ranger Project, based in northern Sumatra on the fringes of the Leuser Ecosystem
What do you love about your work?
“What makes me love being a ranger is that I can dedicate my rest of life to protecting nature both flora and fauna."
What are some of the main challenges you face?
"The main challenge I face is uneducated communities who don't understand nature is very important for sustainability and life."
How is your work making a difference?
“I campaign, educate, socialise, and implement with a good example of how to protect nature:
🧡 Campaigning for change
🧡 Socialisation with local community (which is community outreach and engagement)
🧡 Educating people on how important nature is
🧡 Applying my knowledge through patrolling and monitoring
🧡 Collecting data to stop poaching and all activities that harm nature."

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