Ricochet News

SANParks’ frontier region rangers now certified environmental inspectors

JANUARY 20, 2016
SANParks’ frontier region rangers now certified environmental inspectors

Environmental law enforcement at four national parks has been stepped up thanks to the addition of 69 Environmental Management Inspectors in Addo Elephant, Camdeboo, Karoo and Mountain Zebra National Parks, which make up the Frontier Region of South African National Parks (SANParks). 

The rangers were honoured at a certificate award ceremony in Addo Elephant National Park this morning.  The event was attended by SANParks CEO, Fundisile Mketeni, COO Lize McCourt and CFO, Raj Mahabeer.

This was the third regional event of its kind.  Previous certification ceremonies were held in the Cape and Northern Cape Regions. 

A total of 365 rangers in all 19 national parks - except Kruger - have completed the new, extensive Environmental Management Inspectorate (EMI) training, which will better equip them with environmental law enforcement across their Parks in the fight against environmental crime.

The training was facilitated by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and carried out by the South African Wildlife College situated in Kruger National Park. 

In terms of the National Environmental Management Act, SANParks and many other environmental agencies are empowered via DEA to designate and appoint Environmental Management Inspectors through extensive training programmes.

The key note address was given by Mketeni, who said “Today’s handover of certificates is a symbolic commitment of our contribution to law enforcement, whilst increasing awareness and allocating resources integral for the execution of this function.  It is therefore imperative that as a collective we work together in overcoming the country’s poaching challenges”.

Three of the region’s parks are home to rhino, and as such puts them at a higher risk for possible poaching incidents.  However, not only rhino, but overall wildlife safety has become a major concern in all SANParks over the past years. 

Although rhino poaching is the most crucial concern at the moment, other wildlife crimes like arson, cycad and abalone poaching, illegal hunting and snaring and illegal fishing, needs to be combated.

Mketeni concluded by saying, “I would like to express my gratitude to you all on behalf of the whole of SANParks for the sterling work you are doing in safeguarding our natural heritage and in keeping our visitors safe under difficult circumstances. 

"I would like also to congratulate you on achieving your EMI certification in order that you can render a service to our nation in ensuring the effective management of our national parks”.

For previous media statements please go to www.sanparks.org

Image captions:  (1) Some of the group of 69 SANParks rangers from Addo Elephant, Camdeboo, Karoo and Mountain Zebra National Parks who today received their Environmental Management Inspectorate training certificates.  (2)  SANParks CEO, Fundisile Mketeni, conducting a parade inspection of the group of certified rangers.