New International Ranger Awards open for nominations

The International Ranger Awards recognise the remarkable work of rangers in protected and conserved areas around the world. Ten awardees will each receive a unique uniform patch, and their organisations will receive US$10,000 to support their work.

The awards are open to the diversity of rangers across the world, recognising the wide range of work they do.

Nominations are open until 31 December 2020.

The new International Ranger Awards will recognize the remarkable work of rangers in protected and conserved areas  around the world. Hosted by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, in collaboration with the International Ranger Federation, Global Wildlife Conservation, and Conservation Allies, these awards are intended to improve rangers’  capabilities, raise awareness about the critical role they play in conservation efforts, and help share rangers’ unique  stories and perspectives.  

In this first round of annual awards, 10 prizes of $10,000 will be awarded to rangers or ranger teams to help support their work and that of the protected and conserved areas where they are based. This is the first truly inclusive award for  rangers aimed at those across the globe, and we hope to highlight 10 incredible rangers or teams who have dedicated  themselves to protecting the planet, rehabilitating wildlife, and conserving wildlands. 

These awards are designed to recognize rangers of all different backgrounds; nominations are encouraged regardless of duties, gender, ethnicity, and geographic location.


  1. For these awards our working definition of a ranger is as follows: 


Any mandated person working at the site-level as a custodian of species, habitats, ecosystems, and cultural heritage.  Rangers conserve terrestrial and marine protected and conserved areas, whether state, regional, communal,  indigenous, or privately managed, in line with legal and institutional frameworks. Work may combine various roles,  including: 

  • conserving and restoring protected and conserved areas 
  • maintaining area integrity and rule of law 
  • developing and maintaining trusting and respectful relationships with communities and stakeholders
  • engaging and supporting local communities 
  • addressing human-wildlife interactions 
  • monitoring wildlife and habitats 
  • assisting and supporting visitor activities 
  • providing education and awareness 

  1. Nominations must come from an IUCN Member organization, a WCPA member, or an International Ranger  Federation member association can nominate a candidate ranger(s) and must complete the nomination form. No  self-nomination will be accepted.
  2. Nominees must be Protected or Conserved Area rangers (individuals/teams) and residents of the country where  they are working; 
  3. Eligible Rangers/teams must be working in a protected or conserved area either as employees of as part of a  formally established or recognized ranger team (including voluntary, community, and indigenous teams) 
  4. Team nominations should preferably be for distinct, identifiable teams or units whose members have together  made specific achievements. Generic nominations for the entire ranger force of a large protected area will not  typically be considered. 
  5. Rangers are also eligible who have been killed, seriously injured, or disabled during the course of their work within  12 months of the nomination. 
  6. Awards are open to all rangers based on the definition above. We encourage nominations that reflect the full  diversity of rangers and of ranger work around the world. We welcome nominations for female-identifying rangers,  for rangers from Indigenous and local communities, and for rangers from minority and disadvantaged groups. 
  7. All nominations must include details of a recognized organization able to transparently receive, distribute,  administer, and account for the award funds on behalf of the winners. Examples include IUCN member  organizations, recognized ranger associations, and registered NGOs.

Award overview

There will be 10 awards of $10,000 USD. This can be spent in any way that assists the ranger and their team in  conducting their work. In addition, each winning ranger will receive a custom uniform patch signifying the award.  

All nominations will first be considered based on eligibility and the award criteria. A shortlist will be identified and  nominators of those on the shortlist may be contacted for further details. The shortlist will then be reviewed and narrowed  down to 10 winners by a judging panel comprising representatives of the supporting organizations The criteria include,  but are not limited to: 

  1. Exceptional personal commitment and dedication to a Protected or Conserved Area 
  2. Outstanding service to or by local communities when resolving threats affecting protected areas 3. Valor in the face of overwhelming challenges or grave threats 
  3. Demonstrated exceptional impact of the nominees’ contribution 
  4. Outstanding leadership to resolve extraordinary situations or crises 

How to nominate

Nominations must come from IUCN Member organisations, WCPA members, or International Ranger Federation member associations. No self-nomination will be accepted.

To nominate a ranger or team, please fill out this nomination form (also available in FrenchPortuguese and Spanish). Please note that all nominations must include details of a recognised organisation able to transparently receive, distribute, administer, and account for the award funds. This could, for example, be an NGO, a ranger association, or an IUCN office.

If you have any questions regarding your nomination, please contact


Nominations are open from 17 November 2020 to 31 December 2020. After 31 December, the google form will close  and no more applications will be accepted. Nominations will then be reviewed by the judging panel. Finalists will be contacted announced at the end of January 2021. 

Nominate a ranger today

To find out more, or download the full announcement details as a PDF, please visit IUCN.

If you know a ranger, or other professional conservationist from an underrepresented country or region, please encourage them to share their career story with aspiring conservationists as part of Celebrating Diversity in Conservation.

All images courtesy of the International Ranger Awards.


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