#VolunteerParkRanger Program: a Strategy for Getting in Touch with and Conserving Nature

Defensores del Chaco
Published: 08 July 2020
Last edited: 07 August 2020
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The Asociación Defensores del Chaco Pyporé [Association to Protect Chaco Pyporé], in Paraguay, is committed to the conservation of protected wildlife areas and the empowerment of youth in Paraguay. As part of their work, they lead the Volunteer Park Ranger initiative, and the #IamaParkRanger.

The initiative's main objective is to recognize the work of conservation heroes and involve civil society in nature conservation with an emphasis on youth.

This initiative was created in 2017 and to date, it has attracted a total of 200 volunteer park rangers.


South America
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Temperate deciduous forest
Tropical deciduous forest
Tropical evergreen forest
Access and benefit sharing
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Connectivity / transboundary conservation
Outreach & communications
Peace and human security
Science and research
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
Resilience and disaster risk management
Loss of Biodiversity
Ecosystem loss
Lack of access to long-term funding
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Sustainable development goals
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 8: Pollution reduced
Target 11: Protected areas
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Sendai Framework
Target 7: Increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030


Asunción, Paraguay | Parque nacional Defensores del Chaco
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  1. The Chaco Reserve did not have a monitoring program, which resulted in the plundering of wild species in order to satisfy basic economic and sporting needs. 
  2.  In Paraguay there are many young people interested in conservation. However, there are no facilities to develop their skills and channel their enthusiasm.


  • Young people from the provinces of Paraguay
  • Government organizations, academia and civil society working in the park who are supported by young people
  • All those who receive the environmental services provided by the park

How do the building blocks interact?

Providing space in Defensores del Chaco National Park for children, young people and adults is a valuable contribution to nature conservation.


The way to effectively involve the new generations is closely related to information technologies and communication methods, which have greatly changed over the last few years. Technology has had a major impact.


Nowadays, communication exercises are carried out in real time, immediacy is becoming more relevant, and the demands in terms of effectiveness and efficiency in public content are greater. Thus, the #VolunteerParkRanger program not only uses the appropriate technology, but also works on adapting messages to the appropriate audience. 


The people in charge of transmitting the messages are the #VolunteerParkRangers themselves, whose aim is to raise awareness in the rural and urban population, with a global communication vision in mind. 


The program not only gives rise to agents of change, but also transforms realities, and recognizes, communicates and attracts the participation of more young people. 


  • The Defensores del Chaco's volunteer park ranger program has attracted more than 200 volunteers who actively work together.
  • It has given rise to significant inputs or products for the environmental education area of the Defensores del Chaco National Park.
  • It has a successful program involving young people that can be replicated


Defensores del Chaco

Rodrigo Ramirez is a passionate environmental activist, dedicated to conservation in protected wildlife areas and dedicated to empowering young people, and is currently employed as a general coordinator of the Park Ranger Volunteer Program in Paraguay, an initiative of the Chaco Pyporé Defenders Association.


In 2017, he became involved in activities focused on the development of educational spaces and supervised training of young people, because he believes in the power of Paraguayan youth to give rise to sustainable changes in pursuit of sustainable development in the country.


For Rodrigo, conservation is a subject of international relevance and the participation of youth is crucial to achieving goals for both Sustainable Development and Aichi.


Defenders of Chaco was founded in June 2016 and legally incorporated in 2017. The Chaco Pyporé Defenders Association is a civil organization whose mission is to protect and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of Paraguay through environmental education activities, training and research. Since its formation, it has been promoted by people who dedicate their time, resources and abilities on a voluntary basis.


These very active programs are as follows:

  • National Youth Water Forum
  • Park Ranger Volunteer Program of Paraguay Forum for Protected Wildlife Areas
  • Paraguayan Congress for Protected Wildlife Areas
  • Youth Conference on Climate Change
  • Ecological Restoration Course (Modules I and II)
  • Tribute to the Park Rangers of Paraguay
  • World Rangers Day Conference

Contributed by

#NatureForAll IUCN #NatureForAll

Other contributors

Rodrigo Árias
Defensores del chaco