The first Rufford conference in El Salvador, held in San Salvador and in Puerto Barillas, located in Jiquilisco-Xirihualtique Biosphere Reserve, October 30th to November 1st, 2021, had the main objective of promoting the RSG in El Salvador for other students who are committed with conservation efforts and searching to increase scientific research at a national or regional level. The invitation was initially extended to 58 researchers from NGOs, Foundation, Universities, awarded by Rufford for the support of research in Mesoamerica.
The first written and digital announcement was sent on August 17th, 2021, to the emails issued by the Rufford Foundation website, each of these researchers was asked to fill out a google forms document to show interest and availability in participating and they could choose between participating in a virtual or presence way in the conference considering the travel restrictions and risk due to COVID-19. A positive response was obtained to the participation of this first Rufford conference in El Salvador by 16 participants (8 present and 8 virtually). However, due to COVID-19, two of them had to be cancelled 10 or 15 days before the Conference and were changed to the virtual section of the Conference. The topics covered by the conference were diverse and allowed to increase the attention of national students and professionals in Conservation through our social media networks. In the Conference we had 41 attendees from Universities, NGOs, the Ministry of the Environment, including park rangers among others.
For the virtual participation the talks had a public audience with 8 to 33 listeners approximately (this numbers vary according to the topic and hour of the day where the presentations were given). For the field trip other students and interested people were invited to join the activities to watch and learn about marine turtles conservation and some projects that Asociación Territorios Vivos is carrying out, including our actual project funded by the RSG at Jiquilisco Bay.