Boots on the Ground

Help us get boots on the ground!

AFEF is fundraising for the rangers and eco-guards that protect the Central African rainforests and the elephants that call it home.

AFEF’s first initiative is getting boots on the ground, literally.  In our ‘Boots on the Ground’ project we have set ourselves a target to help 500 rangers and eco-guards across Central Africa who work tirelessly out in the field to protect forest elephants and their habitat. We aim to provide new high quality boots and five pairs of durable socks to 500 rangers across the Congo Basin. 

100% of donations will be used to purchase high quality boots and socks.

“The work of a game ranger cannot be understated. Without them, the war on poaching would definitely be lost. They lead the way for us in conserving our planet’s most vulnerable wildlife, such as the African forest elephant, and they are the boots on the ground putting their lives on the line in daily confrontations with heavily armed gangs. It is vital we provide them with the equipment that they need to carry out their duties and secure a future for Africa’s wildlife.”
Christian Triay, COO of African Forest Elephant Foundation.

Project Overview

Since 2003, more than 1,000 game rangers or eco-guards have been killed in the line of duty – protecting wildlife. These rangers are the boots on the ground risking their lives everyday in the war against poaching; operating in tough, dangerous conditions, and cover vast areas on foot each day.

AFEF is committed to helping provide boots on the ground to help rangers in their line of duty.  It is vital that we help equip and train the eco-guards and rangers who protect the national parks and their elephants, and to work with the national parks agencies in Central Africa to ensure that the Congo Basin is the elephant haven it once was. We cannot do it without your help.

Donate now to help us put boots on the ground. All proceeds will go towards equipping 500 rangers with new boots and five pairs of durable socks. It doesn’t take a lot of money to buy a ranger some high quality boots and socks – yet it can make a huge difference.

Why is this important?

Many describe the Congo Basin as an an impenetrable paradise stretching as far as the eye can see seemingly uncorrupted by man. However the forest canopy is just a veil concealing the harsh reality that forest elephants are being slaughtered and their habitat being destroyed.

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With a huge rise in ivory prices in the last two decades, driven by demand from China, the forest elephant populations of Central Africa have crashed. Poachers are taking advantage of the minimal infrastructure in this remote wilderness and consequently have almost unfettered access to many of the forests.  The result was a sustained decade-long massacre in the most important haven for forest elephants in Africa.  For example, between 2004 and 2012, Minkébé National Park in Gabon lost more than 11,000 elephants, representing a loss of 64% of the population in less than ten years.  This devastating rate of decline, in the order of more than 1000 per year, is unsustainable and if this decline is not reversed forest elephants will be wiped out within the next decade.

However, the battle to save the forest elephants of Central Africa is not lost.  We must rally around to ensure security in the rainforests to prevent poachers’ free reign over the most important forest elephant habitat on the continent.

“It doesn’t take a lot of money to buy a ranger eight pairs of socks. But if we can buy 2,000 pairs of socks and spread that across a couple national parks, it makes a huge difference. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but we spent a lot of time on the ground with the rangers, and we know from them that that’s what they want.”

– Keith Roberts, CEO of Conservation International.

How can you help?

We are providing a pair of high quality ‘jungle boots’ and five pairs of quality socks to 500 rangers and eco-guards across Central Africa, working every day out in the field protecting forest elephants and their habitat.

The jungle boots are made mostly of canvas, with a rubber sole, and are perfectly adapted to rainforest conditions. This breathable and durable alternative to the regular leather parade boot is designed for exactly the tropical environment in which rangers and eco-guards operate in throughout the Congo Basin.

This project is about more than providing rangers and eco-guards with more durable, comfortable and robust footwear. It is also about reminding these heroes that they are vital to the survival of the forest and all wildlife which inhabits it, and that they are not forgotten in the world’s desire to protect wildlife.

AFEF is committed to ensuring these crucial men and women are valued and feel like they are not forgotten as they fight tirelessly for Africa’s wildlife every day without news of their hard work ever leaving the forest.Equipping eco-guards with high quality, durable equipment is about maintaining morale, enabling them to do fight for Africa’s wildlife to the best of their ability, and ensuring their commitment to the protection of Africa’s forests is as profound and unwavering as possible.

Let’s get proper jungle boots on the ground for the defenders of the forest.

How far will your donation go?

One pair of canvas boots

Five pairs of socks

One backpack