The Rufford Foundation’s Small Grants Programme enables numerous researchers in various
developing countries to carry out nature conservation projects. So far, it has funded 1,169
grassroots projects in the Indian sub-continent and 5,566 projects worldwide.
The first Rufford Conference was held in India in 2012, and since then, subsequent conferences
have been organised in collaboration with the Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy
and Learning (FERAL). Each year the conference is held in a different part of the
country, and this year, it was held at Sun-n-Sand, Juhu Beach, Mumbai. Mumbai is the second
most populous city in India and known as the financial, commercial and the entertainment capital
of India. Previous Rufford conferences have been held in Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, New
Delhi, Bengaluru, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, Goa, and Wandoor, Andaman Islands.
This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Rufford conference was a mix of online and offline
events, and participants had the option of attending the conference in-person or
virtually. During the conference, there were twenty-seven presentations by Rufford grantees,
two plenary talks, and three popular talks. Participants were also taken to visit the Godrej Mangroves
in Vikhroli, Mumbai.
Presentations during the conference covered a wide range of species and landscapes from students
to early career researchers to grantees who had received all five grants offered by The
Rufford Foundation’s Small Grants Programme. The Rufford conference not only gives
grantees a chance to present their work and receive feedback, but it is also instrumental in giving
researchers a platform to form collaborations and discuss ideas and potential solutions to