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

20-21 February 2020
Alphonse Karenzi

The Rufford Small Grants Zanzibar Conference was a two day east African regional conference organised by the Rufford Foundation. It was held on 20th and 21st February 2020, at Double Tree Hotel by Hilton, in Stone Town, the capital city of Zanzibar, and brought together 49 RSG Recipients, Conservationists and Decision Makers from 7 countries around the globe.

The Zanzibar Conference has been one of the conferences that the Rufford Foundation organised in 2020 in order to create direct communication between the Grant Recipients who very often work in isolation and enable them to share knowledge and create partnerships.

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.

17-20 January 2020
Pedro G. Méndez-Carvajal

The first Rufford conference in Panama, with the motto, Science for the Conservation of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, given in Colon Island, Bocas del Toro, Panama, January 17-20, 2020, had the main objective of exchanging knowledge and experiences among researchers from the Mesoamerican Region awarded by the Rufford Foundation. The invitation was initially extended to 81 researchers from NGOs, Foundation, Universities, awarded by Rufford for the support of research only in Mesoamerica

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.

4 August 2019
Dr. Onja Razanamaro

The Rufford Foundation is one of the main funding sources for conservation projects in Madagascar, of which approximately 210 projects have been funded since 2000. Rufford is committed to supporting research projects as well as conferences to encourage publication and networking especially of early career researchers. A Rufford Conference of recipients from Madagascar was last held in Madagascar in 2015 with strong participation 13 of Rufford grantees. Since then, Madagascar recipients had not had an opportunity to meet and learn about each other’s work.

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.

Future conferences

December 2020
Mexico (La Paz)
Contact Agnese Mancini:

Contact Alphonse Karenzi:

January 2021
Cape Verde
Contact Alphonse Karenzi:

February 2021
Costa Rica
Contact Damian:

Honduras (Roatan)
Contact Alerick Pacay:

April 2021
India (Udipur)
Contact Rajat Nayak:

May 2021
Contact Pedro:

September 2021
Contact: Joelle:

October 2021
Russia (Moscow)
Contact Svetlana: or

Contact Alphonse Karenzi:

November 2021
El Salvador
Contact: Melissa:

Date to be finalised
Contact Jasmine: