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

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

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.

April 2015
Ian Little & Jiba Magwaza

The 2015 Southern African Rufford Small Grants Conference was held in Cape Town from the 16th to 17th April. The conference was kindly hosted at the South African national Biodiversity Institutes Colophon Room within the conservation wing, a building which was suitably constructed through sponsorship from the Rufford Foundation. The conference delegates were comprised of members by invite only and were primarily previous grant recipients. The region comprises recipients from seven countries including Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa. Eighty five recipients were invited and although some contact details were old almost all previous recipients were contacted. Of these 31 recipients were able to attend and present at the conference which hosted a total of 56 delegates including plenary speakers, guests and thirteen current conservation biology students (MSc) from the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. These budding conservation students enjoyed the experience of listening to and meeting a suit of experienced and active conservation practitioners and researchers from across the region.

February 2015
Gustavo Cardenas Hinojosa

The Rufford Foundation & Gustavo Cárdenas Hinojosa held the 1st Rufford Small Grants (RSG) Conference in Mexico. Since 2012 these meetings have been held in different countries with the aim to provide a forum for RSG recipients to share the results of their projects, discuss ideas, problems, issues and create invaluable networking opportunities.

In Mexico, the Rufford Foundation has supported more of 78 nature conservation projects since 2005. With its small grants has allowed getting valuable results and important experiences to young professionals, researchers or conservationists, of research and conservation efforts for nature in Mexico. The diversity of nature conservation projects granted by RSG was highlighted during the project presentations of the 23 previous grantees that attended the Conference. The venue was in Barceló Grand Faro Los Cabos Hotel, San José del Cabo, B. C. S. during February 15th to 18th 2015. The Conference theme was: Sharing Research and Conservation Efforts for Nature in Mexico.

January 2015
Nguyen Hoai Bao

The Rufford Small Grant Recipients Conference has been held during 31st January & 1st February 2015, at the University of Science, Vietnam National University - Ho Chi Minh City. It was organized by the Rufford Foundation, the University of Science in collaboration with Vietnam Wildlife Tours & Research.

January 2015
Blue Ventures

Blue Ventures and the Rufford Foundation held a two day mini-conference for a selection of Rufford Small Grant (RSG) for Nature award winners who are undertaking or have finished undertaking conservation work in Madagascar. The theme of the workshop was ‘Sharing Experiences in Conservation’.

December 2014
Matthew Linkie

The beautiful tropical island of Bali provided an inspiring location to hold this second Indonesia RSG conference, which was attended by 24 participants (18 Rufford grantees, 4 young Indonesian conservationists, 1 trainer and 1 conference organiser).

April, 2014
Khyne U Mar

Yangon Zoo and the Rufford Foundation held a two day mini-conference for a selection of Rufford Small Grant (RSG) for Nature award winners from Asia.

February 2014
Alphonse Karenzi

The proposed theme for this conference was “Connect for More Sustainable Actions”.

January 2014
Matthew Linkie

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the Rufford Foundation held a two day mini-conference for a selection of Rufford Small Grant (RSG) for Nature award winners from Indonesia.

The beautiful tropical island of Sabang, northern Aceh provided an inspiring location to hold this first ever Indonesia RSG conference, which was attended by 16 grantees. Participants ranged from first-time RSG recipients (7) to second RSG recipients (3) to those Booster recipients (6). The first day was allocated for project presentations, which were designed to highlight the logical progression in project implementation and evolution of project design from the first RSG to a second RSG to Booster. The second day involved a field trip to an FFI marine project site, including visiting a mangrove forest rehabilitation site with the local customary marine leader.

November 2013
Rajat Nayak

The Rufford India Conference, Bengaluru was held between 15 and 16 November 2013 at the National Centre for Biological Sciences. The two day conference was jointly organised by Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning (FERAL), Pondicherry, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru and Researchers for Wildlife Conservation (RWC), Bengaluru with support from the Rufford Foundation. The Rufford Small Grants Program (RSGP) has played a crucial role in the field of nature conservation in the developing countries worldwide. It has supported over 290 research and conservation projects in India. The primary objective of this meeting was to explore different aspects of conservation and action research and building conservation capacity at local, regional, and global levels. It also provided an opportunity to the grant recipients to meet and interact. The grant recipients presented their work either as oral presentations or as posters.

Future conferences

July 2019 - Malawi - Contact Emma: emma4.stone@uwe.ac.uk

August 2019 - Madagascar - Contact Onja: onjarh@gmail.com (A follow on from the Association of Tropical Biology)

October 2019 - Uruguay - Contact Adrian: pampasbirds@gmail.com

November 2019 - India (Andaman) - Contact Rajat: rajat@feralindia.org

December 2019 - Zambia - Contact Alphonse: karenzilife@gmail.com

January 2020 - Panama - Contact Pedro: fcprimatespanama@gmail.com

January 2020 - Malaysia (Penang) - Contact Le Khac Quyet: quyet2004@gmail.com

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

April 2020 - Mexico (La Paz) - Contact Agnese Mancini: agnes@grupotortuguero.org