International Ranger Federation

Background and History

The International Ranger Federation (IRF) was founded in 1992 when the Countryside Management Association (CMA, representing rangers in England and Wales), the Scottish Countryside Rangers Association (SCRA) and the U.S. Association of National Park Rangers (ANPR) signed a joint agreement to raise awareness of, and support, the critical work that rangers around the world do in conserving our natural and cultural heritage.


The IRF is a rapidly-growing non-profit organization now having almost 140 member associations, representing over 50,000 Rangers in more than 50 countries, spread across six continents. The role of the IRF is to empower rangers by supporting them to develop, establish and maintain national or state-level ranger organizations; to provide a forum for information and learning on best practice; and to promote and enable technology transfer from countries in which protected area management enjoys broad public and state support, to countries in which protected area management is less well supported.


The IRF produces a Newsletter for its members and you can go to the news section of the IRF website to get a feel for some of things that ranger services are achieving, and the challenges that they face.


The IRF also promotes the annual World Ranger Day on 31st July each year. This day provides an opportunity to celebrate ranger achievements across the world, and also encourages us to remember Rangers who have lost their lives, or been injured, in the line of duty. It’s also an opportunity to raise some much needed funds, either for the IRF or the Thin Green Line Foundation (TGLF), a charitable organization that supports rangers and their families.


World Ranger Congress


The IRF World Ranger Congress is a triennial event that brings together rangers from all over the world. It’s a chance to learn new skills, share knowledge, create new partnerships and refresh existing ones. The Congress is also an important forum for debate on issues that affect rangers at a global level. Many national ranger associations are represented at the event and important resolutions are drafted for later presentation at national-level conservation forums. The Congress is also an important opportunity for the host nation to raise the profile of its rangers and their work.  The next World Ranger Congress is due to be held in the Azores, Portugal 5-9 June 2023.


2019 World Ranger Congress

The 9th World Ranger Congress was held in Nepal, the first time Asia has hosted the event, from 11th – 19th November 2019.  Ten delegates attended from the CMA regions including CMA President Gordon Miller and CMA Chair, Linda Nunn.   CMA Life Member Derek Evans has produced this report on the event.   There are also many posts sharing photos and film on the IRF Facebook page.


2016 World Ranger Congress 

The 8th World Ranger Congress was held in May 2016 in the Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado, USA.  The CMA was well-represented at this global gathering  with 10 members attending.  The slideshows below give a flavour of this inspiring event.


Slideshow of pictures from the IRC 2016

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