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

Full Solution
Gardiens de parc bénévoles
Defensores del Chaco

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.

Last update: 06 Aug 2020
Challenges addressed
Loss of Biodiversity
Ecosystem loss
Lack of access to long-term funding
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
  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
Scale of implementation
Temperate deciduous forest
Tropical deciduous forest
Tropical evergreen forest
Access and benefit sharing
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Connectivity / transboundary conservation
Peace and human security
Outreach & communications
Science and research
Asunción, Paraguay
South America
Summary of the process

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. 

Building Blocks
Volunteer Work

Projects in this area offer young people the opportunity to contribute to nature conservation by getting involved in the following tasks:

  1. Reforestation
  2. Conservation of flora and fauna
  3. Data collection
  4. Tasks involving nature reserve maintenance
  5. Bio-construction projects
  6. Environmental Education and Communication
Enabling factors
  1. Young people in Paraguay are increasingly interested in conserving natural areas.
  2. The #VolunteerParkRanger program offers a complete program for the development of the activities.
  3. Partnership and communication with Natural National Parks of Colombia to provide information on the development of activities.
Lesson learned

The first version of the #VolunteerParkRanger program generated significant interest that exceeded the ability of the program to manage itself adequately. 


Bearing in mind the lessons learned during the first version, a limit was set for the numbers required and this was based on the following potential participation scenarios: 

  • 50 - 100
  • 100 - 150 
  • 200 and more

This made the work more vibrant so that all interested young people were provided a work space and program.

Dissemination and Communication of Information for Behavioural Change

Volunteers are strongly involved in communication processes to seek changes in society, thereby fulfilling four functions: informing, persuading, entertaining and educating.


Communication work is crucial for society to find out about and value natural resources, in order to increase environmental education and awareness and to contribute to a better conservation of natural areas.

Enabling factors

The program is part of the #NatureForAll movement, which enables them to have access to effective communication tools.


Lesson learned

Content and means of distribution must be adapted to different audiences (rural, urban, business, academic and research).

Adopt Information Technologies for the Common Good of Society

For Defensores del Chaco [Protectors of Chaco], information and communication technologies are now a fundamental part of the fight against climate change and the sustainability of the planet.


Defensores del Chaco has a team of committed young people with creative skills. They use the latest technological tools to produce quality content, prioritizing what should be communicated and using the tools to create content and achieve calls to action. 


The products they produce involve the: 

  1. Creation of a video
  2. The preparation of a flyer
Enabling factors
  • Preparation and training of young people in Paraguay
  • Low-cost digital media
  • Budget for the acquisition of communication equipment (cameras, drones, computer, etc.)
  • The growing awareness of the urgent need to take care of our planet.
Lesson learned

You can have all the components to make changes in behaviour but if you do not adapt these components and use the latest technological tools, you will not achieve significant change.

  • 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
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 15 – Life on land
Defensores del Chaco
Rodrigo Arias
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
Connect with contributors
Other contributors
Rodrigo Árias
Defensores del chaco
Ana Mandri