The job of a forest ranger consists of protecting forests, caring for the species that live there, and learning to interpret the small changes in nature that are imperceptible to many– the hatching of an insect, the croaking of a frog or the flapping of a hummingbird. Forest Ranger Ninfa Carianil Damaso is immersed in these sounds on a daily basis as she conducts boat tours and walking tours along the conservation areas surrounding the Guaviare River.
Ninfa, a woman of indigenous descent, protects the tropical forests from the constant threats of hunters, loggers and settlers who seek to settle in this area. Her example of determination, strength and commitment to caring for nature in the face of adversity has made Ninfa a role model and an inspiration for thousands of women.
Thanks to the extraordinary work that Ninfa does for the environment and its species, she was one of the winners of the important International Park Rangers Award of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA).
“For ProAves is extremely important to empower women and provide opportunities to be actively involved in protecting nature”, says Sara Lara, Executive Director.
GUARDIAN OF THE REMOTE ÁGUILA ARPÍA PROAVES RESERVE
The Águila Arpía ProAves Reserve is located southeast of the Eastern Colombian Andes Range, in the town of Raudal de la Mapiripana (Guainía Department). This conservation area protects the habitat of more than 300 species of birds, including the Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja), and other species of mammals, such as primates, jaguars, and tapirs.
The Nature Reserve, located in the heart of the Colombian Amazon, is difficult to access and internet connectivity is very limited, so Ninfa constantly faces challenges as she reports the news of the reserve. Ninfa has embraced these difficulties, and carries out her conservation work with great commitment and professionalism.
Being the first female forest ranger for ProAves, and fulfilling this important conservation work in such a respectable way, makes Ninfa a role model for many young women across the region.
In order to keep the trails passable, Ninfa utilizes GPS applications, camera traps, binoculars, and field guides. In this line of work, she must always keep a machete handy for clearing the dense vegetation that quickly overgrows the trails. Ninfa conducts this work with great courage and enthusiasm. In her early 30’s, she has already become a voice of encouragement and strength for women who, like her, want to be protectors of the most valuable treasures on the planet, the environment and its species.
We thank Women For Conservation, Permian Global and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for inspiring, empowering and connecting Colombian women in the beautiful world of conservation.