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 Russia, Malaysia, Peru, and Madagascar).

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

19-20 October 2018
Le Khac Quyet and L Manh Hung

In 2015, the Rufford Small Grants conference was firstly held at the VNUHCM - University of Science. This conference had received 40 participants from 4 universities, 3 research institutes, 6 organizations, and 3 countries (Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam), including young researchers, lecturers, and undergraduate students.

In order to improve exchanges of communication between Rufford’s recipients in South- east Asia countries and information between Rufford Foundation and its grant recipients as well, the 2nd RSG conference is held in Hanoi, Vietnam with generous financial support from Rufford Small Grants Foundation, and kind administrative and logistic support of the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences (IIBES) and the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (IEBR)-Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST).

18-21 September 2018
Rajat Ramakant Nayak, Foundation for Ecological Research Advocacy and Learning

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 1046 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.

27-28 September 2018
Ana Ćurić, Slavica Vaselek, Jelena Šeat & Miloš Popović

“Explore and protect the natural beauty of Balkans” conference provides an ideal scientific platform for researchers to present their latest research findings, to share their experience, ideas and knowledge, as well as to establish new connections and collaborations. Main aim of this conference is to gather recipients (past and current) working in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Republic of Macedonia in order to improve networking among grantees and emphasize importance of collaboration in scientific world and nature conservation in the Balkans.

2-4 August 2018
Dilek Sahin

Ilia State University (ILIAUNI) is a leading institute in research and conservation studies in Georgia. Almost every researcher of ILIAUNI have links and collaborations with other universities across the Caucasus region and not only. Nevertheless Rufford Conference was the most important event in conservation studies that brought together young conservationists in Kazbegi, Georgia to share the experience and make new connections and trans-boundary collaborations for the first time. So, our objective was to begin new collaborative research and to born new ideas for wildlife conservation between the countries within Caucasus region.

23-25 July 2018
Wilson Novarino

It was our great honour that Biology Department of Andalas University having the chance to organized the Rufford Conference for Indonesia from 23-24 July 2018. The main objectives of the conferences which titled “Strengthening Collaboration for Biodiversity Conservation” is to encourage more young researcher from Sumatra to improve their knowledge and ability by sharing their field experience with previous grantees of Rufford Small Grants. This conference was held as part of “Tiger Week” an inauguration for Global Tiger Day which held annually on 29th July.

23-25 April 2018
Oleksandr Zinenko

Ukrainian Rufford Small Grants Conference had taken place in Kharkiv, Ukraine, 23-25 April 2018. The conference received a motto “From monitoring to implementation” in order to highlight a strong need to proceed from the stage of data collecting to a practical conservation actions.

The Rufford foundation works in Ukraine since 2004 and has supported 59 projects. On the Rufford foundation website 96 projects are listed. Probably this number automatically included all projects from the territory of Ukraine, but mainly were done in other countries, or projects which were carried out in more than one place in Ukraine. Most of grantees received funding once (30 projects), ten grantees received funding twice and nine of them received grants three times. We tried to gather all 49 former and current grant holders from Ukraine and also invited via e-mail conservationists from neighboring Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Turkey (about 90 invitations), but received limited number of responses. Apparently some of e-mail addresses, especially of grantees from earlier years, may be not valid, people may move to another occupation and country. Additionally, number of invited participants had responded, but informed that they had field work in the same dates.

Participation of foreign participants may also be complicated due to economic reasons or political tensions between Ukraine and Russian Federation, RF and Great Britain. In our opinion, state employed scientists from Russia may don’t want to come or experience problems in getting approval for their business trips. Still, these are our suggestions, because no one from RF responded our invitations or contacted us. We see this as a reason why there were no Russian participants on the meeting, in spite of traditionally strong ties in the past. This could be compared to Belarus, where similar number of invitations (but much less number of projects comparing to Russia) resulted in two potential participants, who intended to come, but cancelled their visits due to other reasons.

3-6 February 2018
Aylin Akkaya Bas

The 27th Rufford Conference Montenegro was organized by Montenegro Dolphin partners at Bar Municipality by the: Marine Mammal Research Association (DMAD) – Aylin Akkaya Baş, Ersin Baş and Natural History Association of Montenegro (DPCG) – Ana Vujović, Nataša Nikpaljević.

1. Objectives

The RSG Montenegro Conference aimed to achieve:

1. To create a network between the researchers from terrestrial and marine ecosystems and to help sharing their experiences in research and conservation
2. To understand the problems that researchers had during the realisation of the RSG project
3. To make a bridge between the researchers and governmental bodies to strengthen the relationships for the purpose of conservation implications, both for terrestrial and marine ecosystems
4. To help to standardise the data collection protocols for accurate and transboundary research and conservation consequences
5. To increase the capacity building of researchers on online data sharing platforms.
6. To develop new friendships for the purpose of a stronger chain of cooperation which would be the best for the protection of animals and its habitats?

29-30 January 2018
Krishna Prasad Dahal

It was our great pleasure that Institute of Forestry, Hetauda Campus organized the Rufford Nepal Conference from 29 to 30 January 2018 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The main objectives of the conference were to create the forum for young researchers to explore their research results, share the knowledge through two-way interactions, and translate the outcomes of the projects into policy formulation in the sector of biodiversity conservation and natural resource management.

We hope, the conference helped in collective learning and mutual sharing of experiences and craft better policies for conservation and sustainable utilization of forest resources. The oral and poster presentations are in three important thematic areas of biodiversity conservation and environmental sustainability, community relationship, and conservation education and Extension. Till the end of 2017, the Rufford foundation has already supported about 400 different projects and invested about 1.45 million pound sterling-dollar (£) which equivalent to about 20 Crore Nepalese rupees in the sector of Nepalese biodiversity conservation and natural resource management.

Although the Rufford Foundation has significantly contributed the different grass-roots project in various parts of Nepal, proper monitoring and evaluation should be implemented for bringing the better results. The Rufford conference is one the monitoring tools for sharing and exchanging the project`s results in the common forum. We hope, the foundation will also provide us the opportunity to see the progress of the projects in the field directly. You know that Institute of Forestry (IOF) has many student human resources, we would utilize our human resources in order to conduct the monitoring and evaluation of Rufford`s projects in the fields.

The program would not be possible with the financial support from the Rufford Foundation. I would like to thank Josh Cole (Grants Director) and Jane Raymond (Rufford Administrator) for supporting us from the beginning of the program. I am very grateful with our session chairpersons (Dr. Carol Inskipp, Dr. Ram Prasad Chaudhary, Dr. Binod Dawadi, Dr. Jhamak Bahadur Karki and Dr. Santosh Rayamajhi) who accepted our requests for chairing the individual session. We also grateful to Dr. Prabhu Budathoki, honorable member of National Planning Commissions and former Country representative of IUCN for delivering the conservation message to the participants. Likewise, the contribution of Mr. Damodar Gaire, Mr. Rajesh Sigdel, Mr. Amir Sedain and Dr. Lalit Kumar Lal Das was valuable in order to bring out this publication.

18-20 January 2018
Alphonse Karenzi

In 2012, The Rufford Foundation had its first conference in Nepal. And due to the success of this, the trustees felt that there was a need for more direct communication between the grant recipients. They recognised that 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 that The Rufford Foundation funded this East African Regional Conference of the RSG
recipients which held at the Sienna Beach Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda, from 18th to 20th January 2018.

8-9 January 2018
Matthew Linkie

Conference proceedings
The Durrell Institute for Conservation and Ecology (DICE), in partnership with the Rufford Foundation, ran a two day conference from 8-9 January 2018 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The conference focussed on bringing together Rufford Small Grant (RSG) recipients from Southeast Asian countries to discuss their projects and share their challenges, successes, lessons learned and next steps whilst also providing an opportunity to form networks with other grant recipients.

Some 20 participants from six countries were selected with 16 participants in attendance. The conference was designed and run by Jeanne McKay (DICE Research Associate) and Matthew Linkie (WCS’s Terrestrial Director-Indonesia Programme) with the following aims:

• Provide a forum for RSG recipients to discuss ideas, challenges and issues, and create networking opportunities;
• Exchange knowledge, ideas, and experience in conducting conservation research and project management; and,
• Increase communication amongst RSG recipients.

Future conferences

January 2019 - Guatemala - Contact Alerick Pacay: apacay@semillasdeloceano.com

January 2019 - Galapagos - Contact Robert Lamb: rufford.galapagos@gmail.com (www.ruffordgalapagos.weebly.com)

February 2019 - India - Contact Rajat Ramakant Nayak: rajat@feralindia.org

March 2019 - Kazakstan - Contact Svetlana: baskakova2008@mail.ru

April 2019 - Ethiopia - Contact Alphonse: karenzilife@gmail.com

July 2019 - Malawi - Contact Emma: emma@conservationresearchafrica.org

February 2020 - Philippines - Contact Gonzalo Araujo: Ulibc@gmail.com