(Graaff-Reinet) – The team of nine Environmental Monitors employed at Camdeboo National Park walked away with the prestigious Best Ranger Post of the Year award at this year’s SANParks Frontier Region Achievement Awards.
The awards evening takes place annually and gives recognition to individuals, teams and parks for outstanding service in the previous financial year – in this case 2016/17. The Frontier Region is made up of the Addo Elephant, Camdeboo, Garden Route, Karoo and Mountain Zebra National Parks.
Since their appointment, the team, led by Sergeant James Maarman, has practically eradicated any incidents of illegal activities both within the Park’s borders. Former Park Manager, Nick de Goede, said “Although they live in and work under extreme conditions, they never complain and always strive to do better. They are passionate about their work, sometimes working 18 hour days without complaint – a true example of positive work ethic.”
Camdeboo was known as a crime hotspot with lots of illegal activities such as poaching, fence stealing and cutting, wood collection and illegal fishing. The Environmental Monitors, appointed from KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, have gone from strength to strength over the past two years and have managed to put the brakes on all illegal activities occurring in the Park.
“They have never once complained about their extreme living conditions in the field, even taking in consideration that in summer temperatures reach about 47 degrees C and in winter down to -9 degrees C,” said de Goede.
They guard the new fence line 24 hours a day. They are very passionate about their job and they need to be praised for what they have achieved, concluded de Goede.