Kathmandu, June 1 The 8th World Ranger Congress held in Estes Park in Colorado, USA on May 21-27 has taken a decision to hold the 9th World Ranger Congress in Nepal in 2019. This would be the first time for the event to be hosted in Asia. The decision is in recognition of the measures that the Nepal government has taken to professionalise its ranger force as well as the country’s remarkable anti-poaching successes in recent years. In early May, Nepal marked its 4th year of zero poaching of rhinos since 2011 due to a combination of motivated rangers, high level political will, cooperation with the military, and increased community involvement. “Hosting the 9th World Ranger Congress is a great honour for Nepal and the brave men and women who patrol our parks. We would never have achieved zero poaching without their daily heroism,” said Krishna Prasad Acharya, director general at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. “We look forward to welcoming the world’s rangers to Nepal in 2019 and sharing our anti-poaching success,” he added. According to WWF Nepal, the International Ranger Federation organised the conference, bringing together 321 rangers from 62 countries to share challenges and opportunities, and build solidarity between rangers and ranger associations from around the world. And all the participants agreed that bravery is not enough. They called for rangers to be provided with adequate training and equipment, and for the working conditions of many rangers to be improved. This need was highlighted in a series of unprecedented surveys conducted by WWF in association with ranger associations in Asia, Africa and Latin America, which were presented at the Congress. These ranger perception surveys found that a majority of rangers believed that they were ill-equipped and insufficiently trained to do their jobs safely and effectively. Most were also poorly motivated. “The International Ranger Federation is very excited to award the 9th World Ranger Congress to Nepal to be held in 2019. Not only will it help promote the dedication and sacrifice of Nepali rangers, and their zero poaching target, but it will highlight the courage of all rangers in the Asia region and the entire world,” said Sean Willmore, IRF president. “Rangers are true heroes of the planet, so let’s ensure we all do our utmost to provide them with all the support they need to protect the world’s wildlife and wild places. When we arrive in Nepal in three years time, we must be able to look back and say that together we have increased both the respect and support for rangers so that they are now more motivated and equipped to do their difficult, dangerous and critically important jobs,” added Willmot.