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, 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

23rd - 26th April 2017
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 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.

3-4 April 2017
Angela Maldonado

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.

15 -16 February 2017
Johnson Mshana Grayson

The Rufford Foundation Small Grants (RSG) Conference for grant recipients in Tanzania was co-organized by RSG and Sokoine University of Agriculture Tanzania as a local host. Participating organizers are; Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Tanzania National Parks and University of Dar es Salaam Tanzania. The conference was held from 15-16th February 2017 in Kilimanjaro Tanzania. The conference was organized in the time when Tanzania biodiversity resources are at high risk of extinction caused by environmental pollution, habitat degradation, introduction of species and climate change. The sustainability of these resources requires proper management strategies. In view of supporting biodiversity conservation, the Rufford Foundation has funded 71 biodiversity conservation projects in Tanzania. The projects outputs have been reported to the Foundation as per contract and foundation guidelines. However, in the view of supporting sustainable biodiversity conservation through management oriented researches, it has been noted that, the information gathered through this funding is scattered and likely unavailable to biodiversity management authorities in Tanzania. Thus the need to gather, share and disseminate these findings for biodiversity management is of great concern. Therefore, this conference was geared towards knowledge sharing and dissemination of information to the wider and broader stakeholders. The forum will provide a room for exchange of knowledge and experiences on the management of biodiversity in Tanzania, noting that the nations biodiversity contribute significantly to socio-economic development.

30, 31 January - 1 February 2017
Pedro Henrique Cipresso Pereira

The first Rufford Conference in Brazil was an amazing opportunity to share information and integrate all the projects supported by RSG. The conference was held in Recife, Pernambuco State during 30, 31 of January and 01 de February 2017.

The main aims were completely achieve with a total of 30 lectures and more than 20 Rufford grants from Brazil. Most important proposed and achieved aims were:
* Exchange knowledge, ideas, and experience in doing research
* Discuss about current research issues/challenges;
* Create invaluable networking opportunities; and
* Increase communication and information between Rufford Foundation and its grant
recipients.

14 - 16 November 2016
Lalith Ekanayake

The Rufford in-country conference - Sri Lanka under the theme of “Let’s Protect Sri Lankan Biodiversity” was held between November 14th to November 16th at Oak Ray Regency, Deveni Rajasinghe Mawatha, Kandy, Sri Lanka. This is the first Rufford in-country conference held in Sri Lanka to share the project experience of Rufford grantees among them and also make known to general public. Apart from the grantees some non- grantees also invited to present their reports on research and conservation works. Altogether, 65 participants attended the conference including Mr. Josh Cole, grant director of the Rufford Foundation and several presenters from three south Asian countries (Bangladesh, India and Maldives; one from each country - see Annex 1 in PDF document for full list of participants).

29 - 30 October 2016
Alphonse Karenzi

With all the success stories of the small grants it was felt by the Rufford Small Grants Trustees that there was a need for more direct communication between the grant recipients. 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, the Rufford Small Grants funded the Regional Conference of the Grantees of the Rufford Small Grants in Ghana.

The Rufford Conference in Ghana took place at the Erata Hotel in Accra, the Capital City of Ghana, from 29th to 30th October 2016. This conference aimed at enhancing the direct communication and partnership between the regional RSG recipients by providing a forum for them to discuss ideas and issues; share the best practices and promote the regional RSG Partnership (network).

This two-day conference brought together 40 Rufford Small Grants Recipients from 6 different west-African and east-African countries, for a weekend of relationship building and mutual learning. 21 RSG recipients came from Ghana, 8 from Benin, 5 from Nigeria, 3 from Cote d’Ivoire, 2 from Rwanda, and 1 from Togo. This conference was officially launched by Mr. Japhet Roberts from Ghana Wildlife Society, on behalf of Dr Erasmus Owusu the CEO of Ghana Wildlife Society.

21 -22 March 2016
Anna Curic

The Rufford Small Grants Conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina “Nature knows no boundaries” was held on 21st – 22nd March, 2016 in Banja Luka. This is 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. The RSG Conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina is also the first conference held in Europe. In Balkan region, including Turkey, Rufford Small Grants Foundation has supported more than 85 nature conservation projects from applicable countries. In year 2016 Banja Luka was host of seven countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Albania and Turkey) with 33 researchers participating the Rufford Small Grants Foundation conference.

18-19 January 2016
Renata Leite Pitman & Miryam Quevedo

Peru is strategically located in South America, sharing borders with Ecuador, Bolivia, Co- lombia, Brazil, and Chile, where the Rufford Foundation has supported over 400 projects (Peru 91, Ecuador 46, Bolivia 44, Colombia 89, Brazil 122, and Chile 56). Since many Rufford-supported projects are conservation-driven, we took this opportunity for grantees and Peruvian environmental authorities to meet and explore solutions for strengthen- ing biodiversity conservation in the region. We invited representatives of the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Agriculture, as well as local university professors. The meeting was enriched by two extra presentations: one by Flavia Mazzini, representing RECONOCE, a scientific collaboration network to strengthen biodiversity conservation in Latin America, created in the last Rufford Meeting in Chile; and a passionate closing presentation made by José Alvarez, Director of the Biological Diversity Office of the Peruvian Environmental Ministry. Another highlight was the presentation by Rufford grantee and laywer Bruno Monteferri, about learning to involve people in financing private and communal conservation in Peru. The official language of the meeting was Spanish, to stimulate discussion with Peruvian authorities. The abstracts and full papers are also presented in Spanish, to facilitate their dissemination in Peru.

October 2015
Jigme Dorji

The RSG Bhutan conference was held at the College of Natural Resources, Royal University of Bhutan, Lobesa from October 29 to 31, 2015. With the theme "Bringing Together Field Researchers in Bhutan" the conference was attended by 35 participants from two countries - Bhutan and Nepal. The participants comprised of 15 Rufford Grantees and 20 non-grantees. Of the 15 Grantees that presented paper on their field research supported by RSG, the broad research areas were mammals, birds, fishes, insects, Reptiles, Amphibians, wetlands and Human-wildlife conflicts (see the details in presentation abstract).

May 2015
Luciano Hiriart-Bertrand

The Rufford Small Grant Conference South America was held by Costa Humboldt and the Centro de Investigaciones Marina de Quintay (CIMARQ) of the Universidad Andres Bello sponsored by The Rufford Foundation. The coastal town of Quintay was the perfect place to host grantees from diverse countries in the continent.

The RGS programme, offers grants to support a variety of environmental and conservation projects, involving both endangered species and ecosystems. In South American, it has been granted 724 projects, which include important contributions to Argentina with 187 projects, Brazil with 126, Peru and Colombia with 91 and 86 respectively, Chile with 56, Uruguay 52, Ecuador 47, Bolivia 44, 26 to Venezuela, Guyana 4 and Paraguay only 2. As a result, numerous initiatives have achieved significant impacts at different levels of organization. Since the creation of a whale sanctuary in Uruguay, the creation of a Marine Protected Area in Chile to protect feeding areas of Blue Whales, to the identification and description of the bacterial diversity associated with several groups or ecosystems. On the other hand, they have sponsored important projects to protect endangered animal species, such as the north-eastern Peruvian amazon giant otter, native deer species in Argentina’s Patagonia or the Pacific’s Ocean black marine turtle.

Future conferences

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)

February 2019 - India - Contact Rajat Ramakant Nayak: rajat@feralindia.org

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

July 2019 - Malawi - Contact Emma: emma@conservationresearchafrica.org

February 2020 - Philippines - Contact Gonzalo Araujo: Ulibc@gmail.com