Why should you care about the International Anti-Poaching Federation (IAPF)?
It’s a numbing thought to consider that as we sit on our computers, watch our TVs, or scroll through our instagrams, wildlife across the world are literally fighting for their lives. And while we may not see the immediate causes of this fight – it is imperative that a global awareness for wildlife conservation is raised in order to conserve all remaining populations.
As if the pressures of climate change and habitat loss are not enough, animals must continue to combat poachers in the bush. This poaching – or the unfair and often cruel killing of wildlife – is perhaps one of the most immediate threats to animals in many areas of the world.
Why do poachers commit such heart breaking acts? Generally, in order to illegally sell animal body parts for money – while simultaneously dismissing the long term impacts the loss of a species will have to an ecosystem. An ecosystem, remind you, that poachers themselves along with local communities depend upon to survive.
And while this post is not written to go into detail of poaching crimes, it is meant to bring your attention towards what is being done to combat such horrendous acts. One of the leading organizations leading the fight against poaching is the the International Anti-Poaching Federation. This non-profit literally provides wildlife rangers the training and equipment needed to stand on the front line in the fight against poaching.
However, what they are not able to provide their rangers with is the determination and courage to go up against some of the most relentless criminals in the world. That the rangers bring to the battle field on their own – out of sheer passion and belief in what they are fighting for.
The IAPF relies on public support from around the world to provide the resources necessary to combat poaching in areas such as South Africa and Mozambique among others. And while we might not be able to directly combat poachers in the bush like the rangers of the IAPF, we can indeed help them by standing with them from our homes by raising awareness and giving to their cause.
Because amidst a changing world where wildlife have no say, it is the least that you and I can do to consider their protection a priority by supporting the efforts of those taking immediate action.
What the IAPF believes
The IAPF believes that until governments become fully involved in the fight against poaching and conservation, individuals like you and I must step up to save remaining wildlife populations. Additionally, the IAPF believes that poaching must be combatted from all sides. To do so, they also engage and educate local communities near to poaching areas on the value of wildlife as a natural resource. In addition to communities, the IAPF works alongside other likeminded stakeholders to continue growing in strength as they fight poachers. Preventing poaching in the field is the immediate fight, but gaining the interest, support, and contribution from others to do so proves the long-term battle.
Who is the IAPF?
In short – the IAPF is a group of dedicated researchers and rangers who work daily in the field to seek out and rid wild places of poachers. Founded in 2009, they have completed many projects and efforts to save wildlife in Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Kenya.
The rangers of the IAPF receive hands-on training from their home base in Zimbabwe and must earn the educational credits required to begin anti-poaching efforts in the field. However, it is largely due to outside donations and the support of others that the rangers are able to continue their work – while also growing in numbers. Rangers risk their lives by entering into direct combat with poachers as they track, apprehend, and remove poachers from natural areas.
Due to their tenacity and direct ability to protect the lives of wildlife, the IAPF has been featured on National Geographic, 60 minutes, TEDX, and PBS among other media outlets. Through spreading awareness of their cause, the IAPF strives to create a generation of people and communities that give, not take from this planets resources. Protecting biodiversity and preventing poaching is imperative for the safekeeping of ecosystems around the world.
What is the IAPF doing right now?
Among many other projects, the IAPF is currently working in the Kasigua Corridor of Kenya to train unarmed community scouts and rangers to carry out anti-poaching work. This area is home to many endangered species like the lion, cheetah, elephant and wild dogs. Additionally, the IAPF is working in South Africa to continually assess methods of training to ensure rangers are safe, effective, and aware of the fight they are facing against poachers in the bush.
In Mozambique, the IAPF is working to prevent further killing of the rare rhino in the region. In fact, the estimated life span of a rhino wandering across the border into Mozambique is only 12 to 24 hours due to the capabilities and growing determination of poachers. This area also serves as a natural corridor for poachers to enter into Kruger undercover. Realizing this, advanced patrolling of the region is necessary – perhaps to be provided by the growing possibility of drone technology.
While these are just a few of the many ongoing projects the IAPF is undertaking, the IAPF also works to engage communities by educating them towards the value of local wildlife. The IAPF also strives to create structured approaches towards wildlife protection and anti-poaching efforts. By involving government, local communities, and spreading the word to all areas of the planet, the IAPF is combatting poaching from all ends.
What can you do to help the IAPF?
Think you can’t help? You’re wrong. Whether you want to get out into the bush and help rangers directly or send financial support – the IAPF provides several ways to get involved. On their website there is information on how to join the green army as a volunteer, fundraise, or implement local school education programs to grow a new generation of conservation minded youth.
Perhaps the quickest way to provide the IAPF with the funds needed to continue saving wildlife is to donate. A small donation of $20.00 adds up to help provide the critical training and equipment needed for patrolling rangers. A donation of up to $100.00 will buy boots, socks, and safety equipment to help them as they protect high-profile wildlife. Anything more will go towards the purchase of fuel for transport into the busy, technology to provide critical tracking information of poachers, and satellite phones for ranger communications.
In sum, whatever you can give will help the IAPF help wildlife. And while the wildlife being hunted might not realize it is because of you that their lives are protected – human generations to come will thank you for the opportunity to see a rhino, giraffe, or cheetah in the wild.
I believe together we can slow and eventually put an end to poaching around the world. But not if we don’t take action right now. So please, take a moment and do your part to save a wild-life.
Click this link to make a donation. http://donate.iapf.org
Thank you for reading,