After travelling 23 992km, scrutinising 57 ranger stations and interviewing 448 rangers, which kept him out of office for 113 days, Arrie Schreiber was happy to report the results of yet another Protected Area Management Audit at the Kruger National Park (KNP) annual general meeting, which was held in November 2006. This is the second year that a Pama was applied in all the national parks. Arrie says the aim is to focus specifically on safety and area integrity management – on the work of a ranger.
He believes there was great improvement in the standards in all the parks and that Pama in itself added value to the safety and area integrity management effectiveness. However, he does feel "safety in all parks needs more attention" and he plans to "design and develop standards for all points where staff members are exposed or threatened."
In the Kruger National Park (KNP) the highest scores were achieved by the Mooiplaas (95 percent), Kingfisherspruit (93 percent) and Tshokwane (93 percent) sections. The lowest scores were in the high 60s and the overall average was 79,4 percent compared to 68,5 percent the previous year. Kruger has 22 sections.
In the Sanparks northern region the scores were Golden Gate (74 percent), Mapungubwe National Park Rhodes Drift (74 percent), Mapungubwe National Park Schroda (78 percent) and Marakele (72 percent).
The Cape region showcased Table Mountain National Park CSS (84 percent), Western Coast National Park Langebaan (84 percent), Table Mountain National Park LES (82 percent) and Bontebok (82 percent) at the top of the chart with the lowest score at 56 percent. The overall average improved from 60,5 percent to 76,3 percent.
In the arid region the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park Nossob (88 percent) took first place with Richtersveld (83 percent) and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park Mata Mata (83 percent) contending for second place. The bottom of the log was a respectable 75 percent bringing the average for the six stations to 81,5 percent compared to the 62,6 percent of 2005.
The frontier region showed an 80,5 percent average compared to a 68,8 percent average in 2005. The high scorers were Karoo (90 percent), Addo Elephant National Park woody Cape (89 percent) and Addo Elephant National Park Colchester (86 percent). The lowest score was 73 percent.
The seven ranger stations in the Garden route region scored an average of 75,1 percent. Tsitsikamma East (87 percent), Diepwalle Forest (85 percent) and Tsitsikamma Forest (85 percent) topped the list with the lowest score at 64 percent.
The overall Sanparks scores were Northern region 74,5 percent, Frontier region 80,5 percent, Garden route 75,1 percent, Arid region 81,5 percent, Cape region 76,3 percent, KNP Marula region 75,1 percent, KNP Nkayeni region 82,5 percent, KNP Xanatsene South region 84,2 percent and the KNP Xanatsene North region 76,1 percent.
Arrie is confident that "the standards can now formally be established to indicate the benchmark of what a Sanparks ranger should reflect in terms of safety and area integrity management."
(archive photos taken during ranger's open day 2006)