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Modern Warrior: Damien Mander at TEDxSydney

On May 4 Damien Mander, CEO of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation delivered a TED talk to a packed Sydney Opera House. Please take the time to view the link below and share it as widely as you can. This will assist us in spreading a valuable message about how animals are treated.

Described as a “Double-barrel shotgun with no safety catch”, “Provocatively jarring” and “Extraordinary” this TED talk “is a wakeup call to arms that should be viewed by all human beings”. Even if you have only ever loved just one animal then please share this video that left a packed Sydney Opera House unnervingly challenged.

“Damien Mander prowled the stage like the wild animals he protects, delivering a primal attack on our priorities in a world where those who have no voice are rarely heard.”

Please like, share and tweet to get the message out there.

Read some of the viewer comments over recent days:

Awesome talk mate. Well delivered and thought provoking. 10/10 I have watched TED talks for years and this is by far the best.

Damien – WOW, your TEDx presentation was flawless! An intensely proud moment for all of us trying to help the animal kingdom. So well spoken, emotive yet sensible and just the right amount of ‘crazy’  WELL DONE Shamwari!! You are a warrior amongst mere men. I will be sharing wide and far and for my own benefit, replaying whenever that familiar overwhelming feeling encroaches for anyone involved in this effort!

Just watched your TEDx talk – truly inspiring and thought provoking words.

Your TEDx talk was so inspiring! I’ve been following your stuff for quite a whilel, but that was pretty impressive speech. I hope more people view it and share it wide.

A huge thank you and support for your work~ I was very moved at your TEDx presentation.

The IAPF in Tanzania: World Rangers Congress

The 2012 International Rangers Federation (IRF) World Rangers Congress (WRC) has come and gone and with over 260 delegates from 40 different countries, it proved to be a major success. 

 Held every 4 years, the WRC brings together rangers from all over the world to meet and discuss important conservation matters relating to rangers and their roles and responsibilities, as well as providing a forum for global networking. For the first time ever, the IAPF had the opportunity to join the WRC and take part in this year’s theme “Working towards healthy parks, dealing with hungry people”. The congress was held over 5 days at the beautiful Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge, just outside of Arusha in Tanzania. Delegates were welcomed with an ample supply of food and refreshments and settled in to attend many lectures, demonstrations and workshops. 

 Australia had a great representation of rangers from across the country including South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and a lot of members from Parks Victoria and the Victorian Rangers Association (VRA). Other countries included Canada & the US, Brazil, Romania, Scotland, Iceland, Sweden, Korea and many more. Africa, of course, had a great attendance with around 60 delegates from more than 10 different countries, some as far reaching as Madagascar and Sierra Leone.

 As this congress was held in Africa, one of the subjects under heavy discussion was poaching. Although it is a global issue, most agreed that nothing can compare to the levels and dynamics of poaching experienced here. Various stories, opinions and issues were raised by many of the African delegates, from the poisoning of vultures, to the plight of the rhino and even the massacre of many endangered species such as the okapi and mountain gorilla of the Congo. A major thanks to the dedicated work of Jean-Pierre (Jobogo) Mirindi should be mentioned here. These guys face a daily war against poachers and rebels, often working tirelessly to protect these species and their protected areas. We all agreed on the need to support Jean-Pierre’s work more in the future and hope that him and his team remain safe. Keep up the good fight guys!


 It was a great experience to meet some of these rangers for the first time as well as greet plenty of familiar faces. One such face was that of Joachim Kouame from the Ivory Coast. Joachim, as some of you may remember, was caught up in the political turmoil that affected the Ivory Coast in 2011. The Thin Green Line Foundation (TGLF) and the IAPF nearly deployed an extraction team to rescue Joachim as well as a few other rangers and their families. Luckily, things calmed down enough for Joachim to make the decision to stay. To see him safe, sound and back at work again was very inspirational for us. Joachim, your endurance, commitment and bravery is the epitome of what should drive rangers everywhere.


Joachim Kouame: Ranger from the Ivory Coast. Photo: Megan Osborn

 On the final day of the congress, it was time to vote in the new IRF committee members as well as the candidates for the role of President and Vice President. As the votes were cast, it was very close but Sean Willmore from the TGLF and Wayne Lotter of the PAMS Foundation were voted in as the IRF President and Vice President respectively. Congratulations to all other committee members as well and to the VRA’s Peter Cleary for his role as Oceania representative and the Game Rangers Association of Africa’s (GRAA) Chris Galliers as African representative. Many thanks to the past IRF President Deanne Adams for her hard work and all the other past representatives who respectfully stood down after 4 great years of service to the IRF.


New IRF President Sean Willmore address the congress for the first time. Photo: Corey Jeal

As the congress wrapped up, a feeling of unity was in the air and everyone seemed eager to attend the next IRF World Congress, which will be held in Colorado, USA in 2016. We certainly hope to be there and would like to see all friends old and new once again. Special Thanks to Wayne Lotter and Krissie Clark of the PAMS Foundation for organizing and facilitating the congress, as well as the Thin Green Line Foundation for making the IAPF’s attendance possible.

Things didn’t just finish with the congress for some however. Getting on board with the IRF’s proposed “Rangers Without Borders” initiative, a small group of rangers, comprised of VRA President Peter Cleary, a ranger with the Philip Island Nature Reserve, VRA Treasurer and Conservation Biologist Megan Osborn, Ranger Corey Jeal (who some of you may know from his “Ride for Rangers” journey through Africa) and the IAPF’s James Slade, got together and joined forces with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), to assess and provide feedback on some of the area’s conservation issues.


“Rangers without Borders” pilot initiative. (l-r) Peter Cleary, Megan Osborn, James Slade, Ngorongoro Crater rangers, Fred Barak (red t-shirt, centre), Corey Jeal, Robert Mande (far right, suit.) Photo: James Slade

 This initiative was devised and facilitated by the team in order to promote the concept of “Rangers without Borders” and through the assistance of NCAA staff members Robert Mande and Fred Baraka, they where able to visit the Ngorongoro Crater and surrounding areas, witnessing first hand many of the issues faced and some of the solutions that may be implemented to address them. The full report is available to those who wish to read it. Please contact for further information. This pilot project will hopefully pave the way for similar programs in which rangers around the world may visit protected and affected areas, sharing opinions, results and tactics, solidifying the bond between those working in area integrity management everywhere.

 Finally, the IAPF would like to thank everyone again for this opportunity and we’re looking forward to what 2013 will bring to rangers from all over the world. Congratulations once again to Sean Willmore as the new IRF President, we’re eager to progress over the next 4 years and although it will be a long, hard road ahead we’re certain he’s up to the challenge.


The new International Ranger’s Federation Committee:

Top row (l-r); President Sean Willmore, Oceania rep. Peter Cleary, Vice-President Wayne Lotter, Asia rep. Kim Young Seok, Central America rep. Cesar Augusto Flores Lopez.

Bottom Row (l-r): European rep. Floran Halastauan, Treasurer Meg Weesner, African rep. Chris Galliers, North America rep. Jeff Ohlffs and Secretary Tegan Burton. Photo: Megan Osborn


International Rangers Federation 


‘Damned if you do & damned if you don’t’ – Legalising the Rhino Horn Trade. Episode 3

RAW Family Fundraising Family Music Festival

After 12 months of hard work from a dedicated group of committee members back home in Australia, Raw 2012 went live last Sunday, March 18. Held at Morningstar Estate on the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne, the aim of the event was to raise much needed awareness and financial support in aid of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation. Over 1200 people attended the event throughout the day to watch a great line up of bands. Local artists such as Lash 78, Matt Mc Hugh, Jeff Lang and the Fireballs entertained everyone on the lawn all afternoon, and of course, who could forget crowd favourite, Dallas Frasca who was back for her second year in a row.

RAW 2012

With the weather sitting pretty on 26 degrees the committee sighed with relief, unable to predict what the Melbourne sky is capable of. The new venue was perfect for the event and the huge variety of kid’s activities allowed the parents to relax for the afternoon and enjoy the tunes.

From me: to the committee, I can’t thank-you enough. I had only turned up in Australia a few days before hand and everything had been put together. All I had to do was turn up to the event and enjoy the afternoon, chatting to the crowd about our valuable work towards conservation. To the sponsors and volunteers – The event would not be possible without you. Thanks so much again. And saving the best until last – THE CROWD. Thank-you to everyone that came down, enjoyed the music, supported the cause and had a great day with a likeminded group of people.

We hope to see everyone throughout the year. Please keep following the IAPF’s work at

If you haven’t signed up yet to receive our regular blog then please do so in the top right hand section of this page.

Cheers everyone.

Damien Mander

Heading Home to the Falls


My car is finally ready. It’s nearly lunch time in Harare and I’m preparing to drive back to Victoria Falls after two weeks away which was meant to be one. Regardless of the delay it has been a productive trip to the capital having positive meetings with donors and the British Embassy whilst here. One donor in particular is very interested in the Chizarira project and we spent all day Sunday preparing a proposal for their head office. Once back in the Falls I will link up with Deano who has the guys from FHM there with him at the moment doing a story for the magazine. I think it’s the South African version so I will have to get them to pressure the Aussie guys to get over here and do a follow up.

On Sunday I’ll leave for Chizarira and then spend the whole week there with the boss going through all the old records and management plans. None of them can be emailed as there are no computers or electricity at Chizarira and all the documents have been created on a typewriter. One of the first things we will do there is set up solar electricity, internet and computers so the management staff can do their jobs properly and communicate with the outside world. It’s pretty hard to manage a park and protect its animals when you spend most of your day doing a task that would normally take 10 minutes. Example – The boss there receives a radio message that he needs to make a phone call. He walks the 15 minutes back to camp, gets the driver, walks 15 minutes to the workshop and gets in the 7 tonne tip truck. They then drive the 3 hours to the nearest town where there is phone reception, make the call, and then return to camp. I witnessed this happen twice in two days during my last visit there. So you can see, life’s simple little tasks are not always that easy for the guys at Chizarira. Regardless, they are a highly motivated bunch and we are going to be able to achieve a lot with a little.

If you’re in Melbourne be sure to get your tickets to the RAW music festival and come and support conservation. for more in formation go to

Cheers everyone. Speak to you from the Falls!

Damien Mander

PS: Follow this link to hear our interview on Voice of America, one of the world’s largest radio broadcasters.

PPS: Please go to the top right hand column and sign up to receive our blogs


Old technology means falling behind. A sattelite internet setup, computers and solar power will be some of the first things to go in HQ at Chizarira.

On the Road With Damien Mander and the IAPF

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