12 Dec 09
Source: Mosman Daily
BUSH ranger Tegan Burton has spent 13 years caring for natural bushland at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in Hornsby.
Now the Mosman resident will share her knowledge of bush preservation with indigenous rangers in Brazil to help boost their capacity to protect biodiversity in the Amazon Basin.
Ms Burton was one of four rangers from non-profit Protected Area Workers Association selected for the Equip the Amazon project.
The group will be in Macapa in north-eastern Brazil until January educating rangers about threats to the environment such as deforestation, illegal mining, logging and trafficking animals.
“Overall, we want to continue building strengths in the Amazon so they can conserve what they’ve got - that environment is valuable to the whole world,” Ms Burton said.
“The guys in Brazil don’t get a lot of support - they operate with minimal equipment and minimal training so this program will really help them.”
Armed with six duffle bags filled with 40 GPS units, 12 firefighter helmets, four firefighting uniforms and five digital cameras, the group will train rangers how to use the technology to preserve the rainforest.
The reserve was 10.5 million hectares with no roads leading into it - a saving grace, said Ms Burton who said roads destroyed biodiversity and opened up opportunities for development.
More than 95 per cent of the reserve is considered untouched, however the inaccessibility of the rainforest is not enough to stop illegal activities.
“Most people don’t have the slightest idea what goes on,” Ms Burton said.
“Even people here have little idea about what goes on managing a park in Sydney, let alone conservation threats to the Amazon.
“If it wasn’t for the hard work of rangers we wouldn’t have the beautiful bushland areas so many people appreciate today.”