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, Mexico, Malaysia, Peru, Madagascar and Ethiopia).

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, Montenegro 2018

Date: 3-6 February 2018
Venue: Bar

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?

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Grant Recipients Conference, Nepal 2018

Date: 29-30 January 2018
Venue: Hotel Marshyangdi, Thamel, Kathmandu

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.

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Grant Recipients Conference, Uganda 2018

Date: 18-20 January 2018
Venue: Sienna Beach Hotel, Entebbe

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.

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Grant Recipients Conference, Cambodia 2018

Date: 8-9 January 2018
Venue: Phnom Penh

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.

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Grant Recipients Conference, Namibia 2017

Date: 27-28 November 2017
Venue: Windhoek

Following a call from the Rufford Small Grants (RSG) conservation conference to be held in Namibia, The Rufford Foundation, together in partnership with co-organisers Bats without Borders, invited 137 Rufford Foundation grantees from across southern Africa (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe). The initial target focus was on researchers and/or conservationists working in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia due to their being a large conference held in South Africa in 2015, but the invitation was extended to grantees working across southern Africa. The conference was held at a conference facility between Windhoek city and the airport. We were delighted to welcome The Rufford Foundation grantees, working on a variety of research and conservation projects across Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The conference attendees came together to share their work, including conservation challenges and highlights, and an important part of the conference was the opportunity to network with other share advice and knowledge and potentially foster new collaborations. This conference would not have been possible without the generous funding provided by The Rufford Foundation, which has supported all our conservation and research efforts and provided additional funds to bring grantees together in this conference.

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Grant Recipients Conference, Belize 2017

Date: 13 - 15 November 2017
Venue: Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

1. Background

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 early career conservationists to explore and contribute to wildlife research and nature conservation. The Rufford Foundation has supported more than 4,200 research and conservation projects in 157 countries, including more than 1100 across Central and Latin America. Since 2012, The Rufford Foundation has been holding conferences in collaboration with local organisations around the world with the aim of bringing their grant recipients together and providing a forum for them to discuss ideas, problems and issues, and create invaluable networking opportunities. The first Rufford Small Grants (RSG) conference in Belize was held on 13-15th November 2017 at Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary near Belmopan in the Belize District, and was organised by Blue Ventures on behalf of the Rufford Foundation. It was attended by Rufford grantees working across Belize and Mexico, who presented their work as oral presentations and engaged in group discussions and feedback sessions. The conference was enriched by an additional presentation from Reynold Cal from the Runaway Creek Nature Reserve in Belize about his work on the jaguar (Panthera onca) and Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii).

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Grant Recipients Conference, Argentina 2017

Date: 19-20 October 2017
Venue: Instituto de Ecología Regional, San Miguel de Tucumán

Nowadays, the increase in human well-being is linked at least to some point with the overexploitation of natural resources. Processes such as globalization, increasing tele- connections and rises of global demand of food drive changes in land use, the main cause of environmental change (Turner et al., 2007; Godfray et al., 2010). While traditional conservation frameworks usually focused in “Anthropic vs. Natural environments”, the increasing perception of environmental issues by societies, scientists and governments has generated more integrated frameworks for the conservation of nature. In the lat two decades, conservation science has began to analyze the consequences of anthropization and land use change over natural resources and biodiversity (Redfort et al., 2003; Daily et al., 2005). This derived in the progressive linkage between human and natural dimensions. Concepts such as “ecosystem services” (Costanza, 1997), socio-ecological systems (Stockholm Resilience Centre, 2014) or “Anthropocene” (Ellis et al., 2010) illustrate this situation, and emphazise the importance of further linking both areas. Argentina is the second largest country of Latin-America, and is a very heterogeneous region with a subsequent high richness and diversity of natural resources and landscapes and the existence of 15 ecoregions with distinctive ecological characteristics. This diversity of environments and natural resources, also determines the existence of different land uses which in general intensified in the last years due to rises in the demand of food and other goods, even outside the ecoregional and national boundaries. Argentina is also rich in human resources, that, in the last decade, have been trying to answer and solve conservation issues in the different ecoregions. However, the links between policy and academia are still weak in the country. The Rufford Foundation has financed many conservation-oriented projects in developing countries, including more than 120 projects in Argentina. This places in evidence the existence of a strong community involved in conservation science and practice in the country. The funding obtained by Rufford Foundation to host a conference in Argentina therefore constitutes an unique opportunity to gather a group of specialists in environmental issues and discuss their influence in the different ecoregions of our country.

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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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Future conferences

July 2018 - Indonesia -Contact Wilson Novarino: wilson_n_id@yahoo.com

August 2018 - Georgia -Contact Temur Shvelidze: temur.shvelidze.1@iliauni.edu.ge

September 2018 - India - Contact Rajat Ramakant Nayak: rajat@feralindia.org

September 2018 - Serbia - Contact Ana Curic: anna.curic@live.com (https://epnbalkans.com/)

October 2018 - Vietnam - Contact Bao Nguyen: birdvietnam@gmail.com

November 2018 - Costa Rica - Contact Damian Fernandez: damian.martinezcr@gmail.com

December 2018 - Kenya - Contact Alphonse: karenzilife@gmail.com

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

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

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