On July 31st, Thailand’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) pledged better capacity building and welfare programs for rangers at an event marking World Ranger Day in Thailand’s Eastern Forest Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The minister recognized that rangers are the front-line of defence and are poorly equipped and under-trained. Rangers face growing threats from well-armed poachers seeking to profit from endangered animals and timber. In Thailand, more than 40 rangers have lost their lives, 49 have been injured and 23 left in critical condition over the last four years. Over recent weeks there has been increased high-level recognition of the grave threat of wildlife crime. President Obama recently signed an executive order to combat wildlife crime. FREELAND, the implementing partner of the USAID-funded Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking Program (ARREST), supported the event with awards presented to wounded and fallen rangers. ARREST, the U.S. Government’s largest counter wildlife trafficking program, has been providing training and equipment to rangers to support the brave efforts of those who fight wildlife crime throughout Southeast Asia.