Conferences

In 2012, we held our first Rufford Small Grants conference in Nepal. Due to the success of this the trustees felt that there was a need for more direct communication between the grant recipients. Very often researchers work in isolation and these conferences provide a forum to discuss ideas, problems, issues and create invaluable networking opportunities.

Generally they are 2 or 3 days long. Each recipient talks about their project and then takes questions from their fellow RSG recipients. The chair person leads a debate and it is hoped that solutions to key conservation issues are addressed. In some instances Government ministers attend so that a link between the 'field' and the 'decision makers' can be built. The chair person is generally the organiser of the conference for that particular country.

To make these worthwhile we need a minimum of 20 previous grants recipients, with at least one of these who is able to organise the event. This entails finding a venue, liaising with grantees, providing an agenda and a report, arranging accommodation and food and generally overseeing the smooth running.

In the future, we are looking to hold small, in country conferences with past recipients (particularly in Uruguay, Russia, Georgia, Mexico, Botswana, Philippines, Paraguay, Ecuador, Malawi and Kazakhstan).

If you would like to organise one please contact: josh@rufford.org

In this section you can read the report from the previous conferences written by the organiser’s themselves.

Conference Reports

Grant Recipients Conference, India 2017

Date: 23rd - 26th April 2017
Venue: Sawai Madhopur

The Rufford Foundation has played a crucial role in the field of nature conservation in developing countries worldwide. Its small grants have offered immense opportunities to young professionals and amateurs to explore and contribute to wildlife research and nature conservation. The Rufford Foundation has supported more than 860 research and conservation projects in the Indian sub-continent. Since 2012, The Rufford Foundation has been holding conferences in collaboration with local organisations in different parts of the world with the aim to facilitate direct communication between their grant recipients. These conferences have been providing a forum to discuss ideas, problems, and issues and create invaluable networking opportunities. This year the conference was held at Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan between 23rd and 26th April 2017. The four days conference was organised in collaboration with Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning (FERAL) and Forest Department, Rajasthan. This is the third conference that was organized in India for the Rufford grantees, and the second Rufford India conference that was organised in collaboration with FERAL. The previous two conferences were held in New Delhi and Bengaluru in the year 2013.

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Grant Recipients Conference, Turkey 2017

Date: 15-16th May 2017
Venue: Köyceğiz

On behalf of NATURA (The Society for The Conservation of Nature and Culture, TURKIYE) and the Rufford Foundation, it is our great pleasure to notice you about the Rufford Foundation’s Conference in Turkey which was held on 15th and 16thd May, 2017 in Koycegiz, Mugla-TURKEY. This was one of many RSGF conferences held all over the World with main reason to share our experience during the projects and to connect RSGF winners, as well as to gather all of them for the pleasant and motivating meeting. Particularly, this Mediterranean conference was organized by connecting the Mediterranean countries (Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Palestinan Territory, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Egypt) which have received support from RSGF so far. Except of those countries also we invited some recipients from Bosnia & Herzegovina, Armenia and Iran. The motto of this conference was: "Nature Connects to Harmony of Civilizations" regarding to remains of the Ancient Mediterranean Basin. Participants were able to present projects results of their research via oral presentation. We also hoped that they would actively participate on our round tables where we all shared our good and bad experiences regarding to the RSGF projects and go through some main and important issues which were later going to be useful for future RSGF applicants and ourselves.

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Grant Recipients Conference, Colombia 2017

Date: 3-4 April 2017
Venue: Universidad de los Andes, Bogota

The Rufford Foundation Meeting Colombia was carried out on the 3rd and 4th of April at the Andes University in Bogotá. The meeting was attended by 62 people: 17 grantees and 45 participants from governmental institutions, academia and NGOs. Bearing in mind that short-term meetings fail to have a long-term impact, we decided to be creative in order to maximise the impact of the meeting. Thus, the meeting was divided into four sections: 1) Rufford grantees conference with 17 oral presentations (see programme). We provided space for panel discussions to gather baseline information on biodiversity threats the grantees identified in their study areas and possible ways to tackle these threats. The majority of the talks were done in Spanish, and a few talks in English. 2) Workshop: revision of the first draft of the National Strategy for the Conservation of Primates in Colombia. 3) Conservation exhibition at the Andes University. 4) Conservation outreach campaign in Leticia: educational talks for schoolchildren and visitors about the art exhibition on display at the Museum of the Banco de la República from the 2nd to the 25th of May, 2017.

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Grant Recipients Conference, Tanzania 2017

Date: 15 -16 February 2017
Venue: African Flower Hotel, Kilimanjaro

The Rufford Foundation Small Grants (RSG) Conference for grant recipients in Tanzania was co-organized by RSG and Sokoine University of Agriculture Tanzania as a local host. Participating organizers are; Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Tanzania National Parks and University of Dar es Salaam Tanzania. The conference was held from 15-16th February 2017 in Kilimanjaro Tanzania. The conference was organized in the time when Tanzania biodiversity resources are at high risk of extinction caused by environmental pollution, habitat degradation, introduction of species and climate change. The sustainability of these resources requires proper management strategies. In view of supporting biodiversity conservation, the Rufford Foundation has funded 71 biodiversity conservation projects in Tanzania. The projects outputs have been reported to the Foundation as per contract and foundation guidelines. However, in the view of supporting sustainable biodiversity conservation through management oriented researches, it has been noted that, the information gathered through this funding is scattered and likely unavailable to biodiversity management authorities in Tanzania. Thus the need to gather, share and disseminate these findings for biodiversity management is of great concern. Therefore, this conference was geared towards knowledge sharing and dissemination of information to the wider and broader stakeholders. The forum will provide a room for exchange of knowledge and experiences on the management of biodiversity in Tanzania, noting that the nations biodiversity contribute significantly to socio-economic development.

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Grant Recipients Conference, Brazil 2017

Date: 30, 31 January - 1 February 2017
Venue: Recife, Pernambuco

The first Rufford Conference in Brazil was an amazing opportunity to share information and integrate all the projects supported by RSG. The conference was held in Recife, Pernambuco State during 30, 31 of January and 01 de February 2017. The main aims were completely achieve with a total of 30 lectures and more than 20 Rufford grants from Brazil. Most important proposed and achieved aims were: * Exchange knowledge, ideas, and experience in doing research * Discuss about current research issues/challenges; * Create invaluable networking opportunities; and * Increase communication and information between Rufford Foundation and its grant recipients.

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Grant Recipients Conference, Sri Lanka 2016

Date: 14 - 16 November 2016
Venue: Oak Ray Regency, Kandy

The Rufford in-country conference - Sri Lanka under the theme of “Let’s Protect Sri Lankan Biodiversity” was held between November 14th to November 16th at Oak Ray Regency, Deveni Rajasinghe Mawatha, Kandy, Sri Lanka. This is the first Rufford in-country conference held in Sri Lanka to share the project experience of Rufford grantees among them and also make known to general public. Apart from the grantees some non- grantees also invited to present their reports on research and conservation works. Altogether, 65 participants attended the conference including Mr. Josh Cole, grant director of the Rufford Foundation and several presenters from three south Asian countries (Bangladesh, India and Maldives; one from each country - see Annex 1 in PDF document for full list of participants).

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Grant Recipients Conference, Ghana 2016

Date: 29 - 30 October 2016
Venue: Erata Hotel, Accra

With all the success stories of the small grants it was felt by the Rufford Small Grants Trustees that there was a need for more direct communication between the grant recipients. Very often researchers work in isolation but these conferences provide a forum to discuss ideas, problems, solutions, issues at hand and create invaluable networking opportunities. It is in that respect, the Rufford Small Grants funded the Regional Conference of the Grantees of the Rufford Small Grants in Ghana. The Rufford Conference in Ghana took place at the Erata Hotel in Accra, the Capital City of Ghana, from 29th to 30th October 2016. This conference aimed at enhancing the direct communication and partnership between the regional RSG recipients by providing a forum for them to discuss ideas and issues; share the best practices and promote the regional RSG Partnership (network). This two-day conference brought together 40 Rufford Small Grants Recipients from 6 different west-African and east-African countries, for a weekend of relationship building and mutual learning. 21 RSG recipients came from Ghana, 8 from Benin, 5 from Nigeria, 3 from Cote d’Ivoire, 2 from Rwanda, and 1 from Togo. This conference was officially launched by Mr. Japhet Roberts from Ghana Wildlife Society, on behalf of Dr Erasmus Owusu the CEO of Ghana Wildlife Society.

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Grant Recipients Conference, Bosnia and Herzegovina 2016

Date: 21 -22 March 2016
Venue: Hotel Palace, Banja Luka

The Rufford Small Grants Conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina “Nature knows no boundaries” was held on 21st – 22nd March, 2016 in Banja Luka. This is one of many RSGF conferences held all over the World with main reason to share our experience during the projects and to connect RSGF winners. The RSG Conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina is also the first conference held in Europe. In Balkan region, including Turkey, Rufford Small Grants Foundation has supported more than 85 nature conservation projects from applicable countries. In year 2016 Banja Luka was host of seven countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Albania and Turkey) with 33 researchers participating the Rufford Small Grants Foundation conference.

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Grant Recipients Conference, Peru 2016

Date: 18-19 January 2016
Venue: Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

The Rufford grantees conference in Peru was organised by Renata Leite Pitman and Miryam Quevedo. It brought together 53 attendees including grantees from the region, representatives of the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Agriculture and local university professors.

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Grant Recipients Conference, Bhutan 2015

Date: October 2015
Venue: Royal University of Bhutan

The RSG Bhutan conference was held at the College of Natural Resources, Royal University of Bhutan, Lobesa from October 29 to 31, 2015. With the theme "Bringing Together Field Researchers in Bhutan" the conference was attended by 35 participants from two countries - Bhutan and Nepal.

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Future conferences

November 2017 - Namibia - Contact Rachel Cooper-Bohannon: rachael@batswithoutborders.org

January 2018 - Cambodia - Contact Jeanne McKay: jeanne.e.mckay@gmail.com

January 2018 - Uganda - Contact Alphonse: karenzilife@gmail.com

January 2018 - Nepal - Contact Krishna Prasad Dahal: info@iofhc.edu.np

February 2018 - Montenegro - Contact Dr Aylin Akkaya Bas: akkayaaylinn@gmail.com
or visit the conference website

April 2018 - Ukraine - Contact Oleks: oleksandrzinenko@gmail.com

January 2019 - Galapagos - Contact Robert Brown: robert_lamb@brown.edu