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 Russia, Malaysia, Peru, and Madagascar).

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

April 2013

The proposed theme was- “Sharing the experiences of the RSG Grantees of India”.

January 2013
Stephen Taranto

With support from the Rufford Small Grants Foundation and coordination by Tarapari Biodiversity Garden, representatives from 21 projects in Peru and Bolivia sponsored by Rufford convened in the small city of Copacabana, Bolivia on Lake Titicaca to exchange their experiences in executing biodiversity conservation projects. The workshop was held in January and consisted of a multi-media night, 20 minute audio-visual presentations on the projects including five minute discussion periods, a 5 hour field trip to one of the project’s sites and a one hour closing session in which common methods, errors, impacts, lessons and innovations were discussed and summarized. In continuation, general workshop results are described.

September 2012
Marine Arakelyan

The second Rufford Small Grants Recipients Conference took place in Armenia from 27-30th September, 2012. On behalf of Young Biologists Association (YBA) the principal coordinator of the meeting was Marine Arakelyan – leader of YBA Biodiversity Conservation and Research Group, coordinator - Sargis Aghayan, vice-president of YBA, and organizer – Arsen Gasparyan, president of YBA. Four active members of YBA were selected to help to organize the conference as volunteers.

January 2012
Maheshwar Dhakal

Research is an ongoing and regular, but a never ending process. It always has synergy effects to advance the society. In the research belongs to nature conservation, researchers always cultivate their knowledge aiming betterment of the society and nature at large. Even though a very few people know the importance of research, it has extra-ordinary contribution to scale-up the knowledge, understanding the people and make advance and civilize society as a whole.

The government of Nepal has very poor priority to research. The government rarely allocates the money for research, while many Nepalese young researchers have been getting huge amount of research fund from various international research foundations across the globe. Among the various research foundations; Rufford Small Grant Foundation (RSGF) is the prominent one. The latest information shows that more than 63 Nepali nationals have been getting more than 86 small grants and implementing their research projects at various parts of the country. The foundation is supporting to carry out the research and their capacity building to various research topics. The data shows that most of the researches supported by Rufford are related wildlife conservation particularly protected area system of Nepal. However, it was widely observed that even though some of the researchers are doing very good research, their research results have poor linkages to the government system of protected area management. Our analysis was even though the researchers have been carried out their research independently, but they are doing their research in isolation and has poor relation to policy and planning process. According to the government system particularly by law, each researcher should take the permission from the concern authority. Similarly, the researchers should implement their research in close coordination with government officials and submit their research report to the authority. Always, the research aims to support government authorities that the authorities could utilize the research results in planning and policy formulation process. If the researchers do their research in isolation and government authorities are unknown to the research, then it is difficult to tell precisely whether the researches contributed to conservation or not even the researches are very good in report.

Therefore, it is highly crucial to bring the entire researchers at a forum and share their research results and derived knowledge together. This proposal expected that presentation of all RSGF grantees research results in front of other researchers and government officials will verify their results, provide an opportunity to share and know each other and finally provide a ground to policy-makers and planners in policy designing and planning. It was also expected to help each other particularly policy-makers and researchers alike to understand the government system while carrying out the research particularly research permission and reporting mechanism. It was also supposed to make easier to the young researchers and government policy-makers to develop practical collaborative research in the days to come.

Future conferences

April 2019 - Ethiopia - Contact Alphonse:

July 2019 - Malawi - Contact Emma:

August 2019 - Madagascar - Contact Onja: (A follow on from the Association of Tropical Biology)

October 2019 - Uruguay - Contact Adrian:

November 2019 - India Andaman) - Contact Rajat:

December 2019 - Zambia - Contact Alphonse:

February 2020 - Philippines - Contact Gonzalo Araujo: