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 Bolivia, Mongolia, Tibet, China, Russia, and Peru.

If you would like to organise one please contact:

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

Conference Reports

6-7 February 2020
Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines

Biodiversity loss is globally at an all-time high, with the Philippines being no exception. Conservation work on species, habitats and people is imperative to curve this loss and protect what is left. The Philippines is one of the world’s megadiverse countries – being home to an incredible number of species, many of which are endemic. The country sits at the centre of the centre of marine biodiversity having the highest number of species globally, including the world’s largest fish and mammal species (the whale shark and blue whale respectively). The Rufford Foundation awards grants to support biodiversity conservation, and in an effort to bring people together, the Rufford Small Grants Philippines Conference came about.

10-13 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences - Universiti Sains Malaysia & Malaysian Primatological Society

The RSG Malaysia Conference 2020 with the theme Synergizing Regional Conservation Efforts for Global Impact was carried out over four days in Penang, Malaysia. Participants arrived on the 10th of January 2020 and the conference commenced on the 11th. On this day, all participants presented findings of their research funded by the Rufford Foundation at School of Biological Sciences USM and spent the day networking with each other. On the third day, participants visited the Penang National Park and the Tropical Spice Garden during the conference field trip where they learned about Penang’s natural heritage and local biodiversity. The conference closed with a farewell dinner on the 12th after the field trip and the participants returned to their countries on the next day. Throughout the conference, the organizers enforced environmentally-friendly, zero-plastic and, to a certain extent, zero-waste practices by requesting that participants to bring their own lanyards and refillable water bottles, printing name cards on paper, serving mostly vegetarian food, and providing door gifts by a local supplier who made environmentally-friendly home-made products.

7-8 December 2019
Alphonse Karenzi

Very often Conservationists and Researchers work in isolation. Thus, the Rufford Foundation organises conferences to create direct communication between the Grant Recipients and enable them to share knowledge and create partnerships. It is in that respect that the Rufford Foundation organised this regional conference that brought together 25 conservationists and decision makers from 8 countries. The Zambia Conference was held on 7th and 8th December 2019, at Avani Victoria Falls Resort, in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, in Livingstone, the tourism capital of Zambia.

15-18 November 2019
Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning

The Rufford Foundation’s Small Grants Programme enables numerous researchers in various developing countries to carry out nature conservation projects. In India, the foundation has supported 695 projects. In 2012, the first Rufford Conference was held in India, and since then, the Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning (FERAL) has organised six conferences for grantees to present their work, discuss ideas and form collaborations

25-26 October 2019
Adrián B. Azpiroz and Susana González

The overall goal of the meeting was to share Rufford experiences and set the stage for the creation of a new conservation initiative that would take advantage of two key elements of Uruguay’s RGS conservation work: hands-on practice and scientifically-sound approaches. The main objectives of the meeting were: 1) to gain insight regarding conservation work in our country on the basis of exchanging lessons learned from the wide range of Rufford projects carried out in Uruguay; b) identify barriers (proximate and ultimate causes) that limit the effectiveness of current tools and strategies that aim to conserve our national biodiversity; c) create a national network to enhance synergies and cooperation among Rufford past and current grantees.

11-13 July 2019
Dr Emma Stone

Hosted by African Bat Conservation and Conservation Research Africa and supported by the University of the West of England. A total of 19 delegates attended the conference representing the following African countries: Botswana, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Madagascar, Zambia, Malawi and

27-28 April 2019
Alphonse Karenzi & Sustaining Africa Youth Organization

In 2012, 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 Beshale Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 27th to 28th April 2019.

16-17 March 2019
Svetlana Baskakova

The Conference held in the main office of Aksu-Jabagly Biosphere Nature Reserve in the comfortable and modern Conference hall equipped with relevant technical facilities as computer and projector, big screen and tribune. The venue is situated in the Village of Zhabagly in Turkestan Province of Kazakhstan.

The personal invitations were sent to the 92 Rufford Foundation grant’s recipients in 12 countries. We have got the positive feedback from 46 people and finally 29 experts from 6 countries: Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia and Azerbaijan did attend the event and 46 authors have submitted 23 manuscripts to the Proceedings of the Conference book.

8 - 11 February 2019
Rajat Ramakant Nayak

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 1000 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.

21-25 January 2019
Robert W. Lamb, Maximilian Hirschfeld & Javier Oña

The conference was co-hosted by the two leading research and conservation institutions in the Galapagos Islands. The conference opening and days 2 and 3 took place at the Galapagos Science Center, a joint research station operated by the Universidad San Francisco de Quito and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on San Cristobal Island. Conference days 4 and 5 took place at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island.

Future conferences

September 2020 - India (Udipur) - Contact Rajat Nayak:

October 2020 - Russia (Moscow) - Contact Svetlana: or

October 2020 - Mozambique - Contact Alphonse Karenzi:

October 2020 - Brazil - (Rescheduled from May 2020) - Contact Pedro:

November 2020 - Mexico (La Paz) - (Rescheduled from April 2020) - Contact Agnese Mancini:

November 2020 - Myammar - Contact Jasmine:

December 2020 - Rwanda - Contact Alphonse Karenzi:

February 2021 - Comoros Islands - (Rescheduled from April 2020) - Contact Alphonse Karenzi:

February 2021 - Costa Rica - Contact Damian:

April 2021 - Honduras (Roatan) - (Rescheduled from March 2020) - Contact Alerick Pacay:

May 2021 - Turkey - (Rescheduled from May 2020) - Contact Ana Ćurić: or visit