The United Kingdom Government is considering legislation to ban the movement of ash trees from areas where the destructive Chalara dieback disease of ash trees might be present, the Forestry Commission and the Food & Environment Research agency (Fera) announced today.
The announcement follows the discovery of ash trees infected by the Chalara fraxinea fungus in several nurseries and recent tree planting sites in England and Scotland. The infected plants had! come from nurseries in continental Europe, or had been in contact wit h ash plants imported from the Continent. The Forestry Commission, Fera and the Scottish Government’s plant health team are requiring the destruction of all infected ash plants before the disease has a chance to become established in the UK. Plant health authorities in Wales and Northern Ireland are also on high alert for the disease, and Dr John Morgan, head of the Forestry Commission’s Plant Health Service said:
“The UK’s trees, woods and forests play a hugely important role in our environment, landscape, culture, industry and health and well-being, and we must do everything we can to protect them from threats such as Chalara dieback of ash.
“Chalara dieback is the single biggest threat to our native broadleaf trees since Dutch elm disease wiped out tens of millions of elm trees from the 1960s onwards. The Government is taking precautionary action now to prevent a recurrence of that situation and to protect our landscape, industry and wildlife.”
The Government, through Fera, is consulting on a pest risk analysis for Chalara fraxinea drafted by scientists at the Forestry Commission’s Forest Research agency. The consultation period closes on 26 October, and this process will produce recommendations to the Government about managing the threat to the UK’s ash trees. Dr Morgan explained:
“One option Ministers are con! sidering is to legislate to restrict movement of ash plants so that th ey can only be moved from areas known to be free of the disease. In doing so the Government will take into account evidence received during the consultation process, but our aim is to prevent the establishment of this disease. In practice this will mean a suspension of imports into and movements within Great Britain until there is sufficient evidence that they can safely resume.
“We are making this announcement now to signal the Government’s intentions to businesses which grow or trade in ash plants.
“The international trade in live plants poses the risk of pests and diseases accidentally entering the UK from abroad. For that reason the UK is also fully engaging in the! review of the European Union’s plant health regime to ensure that it is fit for purpose in the 21st-century global trading environment.”
Further information about Chalara dieback is available on the Forestry Commission’s website at www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara. The Pest Risk Analysis and details of the consultation are available in the consultations pages of the Fera website at http://www.fera.defra.gov.uk/plants/consultations/index.cfm
The 11th International Junior Ranger camp was held in between the Transboundary parks of Triglav National Park (Slovenia) and Parco Naturale Prealpi Giulie (Italy) in july . Junior Rangers from all over Europe not only learned about their protected areas from each other but help also with practical work in the parks as well as conducting visitor questionnaires. Treking and cycling were also part of the programme as well as lots of fun games and activities as the Junior Rangers made new international friendships.
An inspirational group of young people whose commitment to nature and their pride in their protected areas was evident. Stefano Santi , Director of Parco naturale delle Prealpi Giulie (It) and EUROPARC Director , who both attended the camp, called on all EUROPARC parks to invest in the Junior Ranger programme as the foundation of the future for park and communities across Europe. EUROPARC will be publishing new guidance on the Junior Ranger programmes soon and weare heppy to share ideas and help YOU set up a Junior Ranger programme in your park!
Meanwhile as 2013 is the 40th anniversary of EUROPARC we are seeking a HOST to welcome Europe’s Junior Rangers . Make this YOUR contribution to highlight the value and benefit of Europe’s protected area network , by inviting young people from across Europe to inspire, invigorate and help build the future with them.
Please contact us at EUROPARC if you are interested in sharing this unique experience in YOUR park
September 6th - Elisângela Sales Dos Santos, a twenty-seven year old from Brazil, was last night awarded the 2012 IRF – IUCN/WCPA International Young Conservationist of the Year Award.
The award was presented in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the training of indigenous park guards in the Brazilian Amazon, and for the work she has done to improve the recognition of the profession of park guards in Brazil.
It was officially presented at the WCPA meeting held during the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju.
The award was sponsored by Parks Victoria and the George Wright Society.
WWF marked World Ranger Day (31 July) with the start of its new Cards4Tigers action, a way of extending support and appreciation to rangers working to stop wildlife crime across the world’s 12 remaining tiger landscapes. From now until June 2013, people everywhere can join WWF in telling rangers we care and support their work by sending them postcards. Visit www.panda.org/tigers/cards4tigers for more information.
“Rangers are critical in achieving Zero Poaching,” said Mike Baltzer, Leader of WWF’s Tigers Alive Initiative. “Yet they are not always fully appreciated for their work. Through the Cards4Tigers action, we aim to provide an easy way for people all across the world to show their support to the rangers. We intend to use the cards to show the government leaders that the world thinks the rangers need more help and resources to save wild tigers.”
“Governments must invest in the well-being of rangers and ensure they are fully equipped to fight ruthless armed poachers. Too many lives have been lost needlessly”said Craig Bruce, WWF’s Tigers Alive Initiative protection expert.
Often underequipped and unarmed, rangers are the first line of defense against wildlife crime. Poaching has become highly organized with armed criminal gangs, and many rangers face death threats and fear for their family’s safety.
A survey undertaken by WWF in April shows that many of the protected areas tiger rangers work in do not have the resources or capacity to effectively protect tigers. For example, WWF field personnel in 41 of 63 tiger protected areas felt there were not enough protection staff available to offer the necessary coverage to achieve Zero Poaching.
In Malaysia’s Royal Belum State Park, considerable poaching activity has been documented. Although occupying an area of over 1,000 km2, the park only has 17 enforcement staff. Contrasting this is protected areas such as Kaziranga Tiger Reserve in India, with approximately 800 enforcement staff for about 860 km2, they have been able to stem poaching activity.
Nepal has also seen a great deal of success in stemming wildlife crime and celebrated 2011 as a Zero Poaching year for rhinos, largely attributed to the addition of 44 new ranger posts across several protected areas.
This has also contributed to the increase in the wild tiger population in the country’s largest park, Bardia National Park, as reported by Nepal’s Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation on Global Tiger Day, 29 July 2012.
World Ranger Day is just around the corner.
How will you be celebrating this year? The IRF would love to hear how you will be celebrating.
As you may know, July 31 is World Ranger Day. It is the day we commemorate the many Rangers killed or injured in the line of duty. It is also the day we celebrate Rangers and the work that they do to protect the world's natural and cultural treasures.
This year’s World Ranger Day is particularly special as it marks the 20th anniversary of the IRF!
The IRF have put together some background notes that provide a brief explanation of the day. These also provide examples of how Rangers and Ranger Associations have celebrated the day in the past and suggestions on how you could celebrate World Ranger Day this year. (Please contact Roger Cole for a copy of these notes). The IRF are also putting together the Ranger Roll of Honour*, commemorating those Rangers that have died in the line of duty since July 31 last year. *(I hope to publish this list in the next edition of RANGER magazine but can provide a copy if anyone would like one in advance of this).
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