The College and Eco Defense Group partner to develop advanced ranger & wildlife protection training

The College has invited US-based NGO Eco Defense Group to partner with them in the development of specialized and unique curricula to improve ranger capabilities around the continent.  

Partnering with the SAWC, Eco Defense Group will provide and organize training consistent with the Wildlife College’s many programs, and will design and implement specific training to help advance ranger capabilities in National Parks and other state-owned conservation areas.

Both entities share the mission of providing holistic solutions for wildlife protection, which addresses “people, planet, prosperity”.  Whilst protecting these interests, Rangers need to progress toward heightened capabilities to protect themselves and to counter syndicate-backed poaching crime that threatens African wildlife, its people and its wildlife economy. 

At the recent United for Wildlife Summit in London, HRH Prince William, gave a strong warning that multi-national organized crime networks are threatening to destroy endangered wildlife species. In his speech to the over 300 global attendees, he spoke about the urgent need to tackle the poaching, smuggling and sale of rhino horn and elephant ivory saying that there are still too many criminals who believe that they can act with impunity.

Security is paramount for the safety of instructors, rangers and conservationists, with a figure of three rangers being killed each week quoted at the Summit. This means that the courses and content will be confidential given the possible infiltration of syndicate-funded people into the system. Training will thus be provided exclusively for those select national park rangers vetted and chosen by both entities and invited for instruction. 

“The goal of any measure of training is foremost the safety of the ranger and the protection of the animal.  Together with the Southern African Wildlife College, we are determined to progress select rangers to a position of asymmetric capability, ensuring that wildlife crime is not only deterred but is ultimately stopped,” states Eco Defense Group President Nathan Edmondson. 

“The SAWC strongly believes in a collaborative approach to capacity development.  This partnership will add great value to the skills we currently offer to our students, ensuring they receive cutting edge training which translates to best practice operations in the workplace,” said Theresa Sowry, Chief Executive Officer of the SAWC.

Eco Defense Group 

Eco Defense Group is a US-based non-profit (NGO) founded in 2017.  The mission of Eco Defense Group is to consult with, train, equip and enable wildlife rangers in national and regional parks to identify and stop criminal threats to wildlife..  

The organization’s goal is to ensure that counter-poaching operations move are asymmetrically enabled to not ultimately deter any threat facing endangered or threatened wildlife.  

Eco Defense Group seeks to find and encourages a peaceful and safe resolution to any criminal activity or contact.  

The organization is designed as a consultancy, providing customized solutions in areas of wildlife crisis.  

The organization aims to serve wildlife rangers, and recognizes the crucial role played by wildlife protectors, and the risk assumed in that role.  

Eco Defense Group invites and contracts individuals with top and relevant expertise in the development of solutions in each area of crisis.  

Eco Defense Group acts always in service of wildlife, parks and rangers.