Patrolling the park is one of the most dangerous and important jobs carried out by the 280 rangers. Roaming militia groups and armed poachers are a constant threat to animals and humans alike. Since 1996, an estimated 140 rangers have lost their lives protecting the park.

Illegal logging is a major problem in the 7,800 square-kilometre park, with much of the deforestation feeding the charcoal trade, an industry heavily controlled by militia groups.

While the culprits are often ordinary people trying to make a living in tough circumstances, the rangers have to act in order to safeguard the park's forests and cut off militia funding.

Gelareh Darabi joins a group of 10 rangers on a security patrol.

 
earthrise airs each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1930; Saturday: 1430; Sunday: 0430; Monday: 0830.

Click here for more on earthrise.
 

Source: Al Jazeera