Grant Recipients Conference, Nepal 2018
I. About Organizer
Institute of Forestry, Hetauda Campus is pioneer Academic institution that has been providing training and producing grass root level and mid-level manpower in the area of Forestry, wildlife and conservationist in Nepal. The institute started as the Nepal Forestry Institute at Singh Durbar in Kathmandu in 1947. It was shifted to Suping (Bhimphedi), Makwanpur in 1957- 58. After the completion of building constructions by the Indian cooperative mission, the institute was moved in a constructed building in Hetauda in 1965. The Institute was run by the Department of Forest under the His Majesty Government of Nepal (HMG/N) until July 1972. It became part of the Tribhuvan University (TU), the first and the biggest university of Nepal, in the same year. The institute started its new existence as the Institute of forestry IOF, Hetauda after its incorporation into the TU system. IOF has two constitute campuses and one affiliated campus. Until the late 1970's it produced only technician level foresters (forest guards, ranger courses). The IOF/Hetauda started Bachelors in Forestry since 1996 and master in Forestry from 2015. In addition to this, the faculty and students are extensively involved in research activities and forestry-related short-term training and workshops. IOF Hetauda has more than 40 years of experience in academic and research activities. Most of the faculty members have their advanced training from abroad. Most of the Human resources available in the institute are worked as a researcher in collaboration with foreign universities and forestry-related organizations. Most of the faculties were also a grantee of Rufford Foundation.
The Rufford Foundation provides a small research grant to young and energetic researchers across the world; it is our proud that Nepalese young researchers have a prominent position to grab the fund annually. The latest grantees name list showed that there are around four hundred who have received Rufford Small Grants (RSG) to conduct their research on different topics in Nepal. Nepalese researchers always have a very good record of accomplishment against the evaluation made by the Rufford Foundation. It is also equally important to understand others, make new ideas, and develop new proposals as well in the days to come. It is also equally important to re- apply the fund. Moreover, it is widely believed that research results should have the proactive roles in policy formulation and planning which gives a full level of satisfaction to the trustees as well.
In 2012, Nepal got an opportunity to organize the first RSG Conference, which was our great pleasure. Due to the success of the first Nepal conference, the trustees felt that there was a need for more direct communication between the grant recipients. Likewise, the second RSG Nepal Conference was held on January 29 to January 30, 2018, at Marshyangdi Hotel, Thamel, and Kathmandu Nepal. The main objectives of the conference were to create the forum for young researchers to explore their research results, share the knowledge through two- way interactions, and transform the outcomes of the projects into policy formulation in the sector of biodiversity conservation and natural resource management. No doubt, the conference helped in collective learning and mutual sharing of experiences and craft better policies for conservation and sustainable utilization of forest resources. The oral and poster presentations are in three important thematics. The conference was supported by Rufford Foundation and organized by Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry, and Hetauda Campus. Regarding registration, 91 people registered and 5 guests attended the conference. According to the conference records, the distribution of second RSG Nepal Conference and attendees of grantee presentation has been presented to Participants heading. The registration files of the conference have been attached in Annex II. Where participants registered such as assistant professor of universities, government officers, individual’s researchers, RSG grantee and students from different campuses of Institute of Forestry are shown. Registration was taken separately for Participant, Presenters, Sessions Chair, and Guest.
III. Conference Objectives
• To create a forum for young researchers to explore their research results
• To provide a forum to natural resource managers, and appreciate the two ways interaction between presenters and other participants RSG grantees
• To apply the outcome of the research results into policy formulation and planning
• Altogether, 96 participants (91 regular participants + 5 guests) attended the Rufford Conference 2018. Gender-wise, 52 male (62%) and 34 Female (38%) participated in the conference.
• Majority of the participants were from Nepal. Only 2 participants from Bangladesh, 1 from Portugal, 1 from the USA and 1 participants from China.
• Participants from the Rufford Foundation (as a chief guest), was highly appreciated.
• Among the Rufford grantees, 36 participants presented their project`s reports using oral presentation (PowerPoint presentation) whereas 7 participants presented their research findings or project reports using poster presentation.
• 30 students attended representing the young conservationists, 7 from forestry professionals, 7 from environmental science professionals, 6 from ministries and 5 from session chairpersons participated in the conference
• In order to deliver the conservation message to students, we tried to enroll from student participants. Our students requested to participate in Rufford Conference with motivation letter. Therefore, we enrolled them as a future conservationist or future Rufford grantees. The student participants were from Institute of Forestry, Hetauda Campus, Institute of Forestry/Pokhara Campus, Tribhuvan University /Central Campus, Amrit Science Campus, Agriculture, and Forestry University (AFU) with the level of Bachelor and Master Level.
Nature of Participants
Among 96 Participants (91 regular participants and 5 session chairpersons) engaged in the RSG Nepal Conference 2018, 2 participants from Bangladesh, 1 from the USA, 1 from Portugal and 1 from China. Majority of participants are from the host country Nepal. Students got the information from Rufford webpage that Institute of Forestry is organising the Rufford Conference, and they sent us the motivation letters. It was also a great pleasure that future conservationists and researchers participated actively in the very important conference. The environmental and forestry professionals provided the feedback and comments during the conference periods. Sometimes, grantees themselves confused about their research findings, and environmental/forestry professionals provided the appropriate answer. Students had highly been benefited through the two-way interaction program.
V. Opening Ceremony
Chief guest Prof. Dr. Krishna Raj Tiwari, Dean of Institute of Forestry (IOF), Tribhuvan University (TU), inaugurated the conference by burning the wetted cotton in traditional Nepali way. The welcome speech was delivered by Prof. Dr. Santosh Rayamajhi, Research Director of IOF, TU and Dr. Bir Bahadur Khanal Chhetri, Campus Chief of Pokhara Campus, IOF. And the whole session was chaired by Mr. Krishna Prasad Dahal, Conference Coordinator, Campus Chief of Hetauda Campus. The guests highlighted the contribution of Rufford Foundation in Nepal and congratulated to Institute of Forestry (IOF) for organizing such a very important conference. They also congratulated all presenters in advance. Institute of Forestry (IOF) was organized such a beautiful conference in its history, therefore chief guests also thanked organizer, best of luck in advance for successful completion of the conference.
The Master of the Ceremonies, Narayan Prasad Tiwari also summarized the rules and regulations of presenters and carried on the program. The conference was concluded in two days, day one was divided into two sessions; Opening session and Technical Sessions. Whereas day 2 was divided into three sessions, Technical session, Poster session and Closing Session.
Prabin Bhusal, Assistant professor of Tribhuvan University, Institute of forestry, Pokhara presenting his project findings and lessons. Prabin Bhusal has successfully completed his 2nd Rufford grant project entitled “Agroforestry promotion for biodiversity Agroforestry Promotion for Livelihood Enhancement and Biodiversity Conservation- Project in the community forest user groups in Kavre, Nepal.” The project has promoted awareness of agroforestry practices in farm, degraded and unused land for livelihood improvement of local farmers and biodiversity conservation. It stressed on the positive effect that agroforestry can bring to farmers through better land management in central mid-hills of Nepal. Through participatory action research and adaptive learning process the project has been successful in recognizing and strengthening local level collective action for promotion of agroforestry and initiate better farming practices in mid hills of Nepal.
VI. Conference Highlights
The conference addressed a variety of topics relevant to forest conservation, biodiversity, and natural resource management with the motto of the conference, “Bringing Together Conservationists and Researchers in Nepal”. The conference schedule was separated into various sessions such as wildlife session, social session, and NRM/Environmental session, ecological session, and ornithological session. Up to seven grantees were got a chance to present their findings in each session. After delivering their findings and outputs, the floor was opened for discussions and interactions, questionings.
This conference provided an opportunity for the grantees to illustrate their findings and appropriate methodologies in front of the session chair, Forestry/Environmental professionals, professors, and students of relevant subjects. Session chairs evaluated the project presentation of the grantees and provided the valuable suggestion and comments.
We had also arranged the renowned persons in the sectors of Forest conservation, biodiversity and natural resource management for chairing the sessions (Prof. Dr. Ram Prasad Chaudhary, Prof. Dr. Santosh Rayamajhi, Ms. Carol Inskipp, Dr. Binod Dawadi, Dr. Jhamak Bahadur Karki).
The main attraction of the first day was Dr. Prabhu Budathoki, honorable member of National Planning Commissions and former Country representative of IUCN. His appearance and speech on biodiversity profile of Nepal were incredible. He described his experience on research activities, difficulties on funding, government rules and regulations, the formation of policy-making in high level, limitation on budget allocation on research works. He also highlighted the environmental justice. The urban people in the developing countries are depriving due to overpopulation, population, and lack of greenery. The concept of the green city is very important for conserving biodiversity conservation and environmental sustainability.
During the Closing session, Prof. Dr. Ridish Pokharel Planning Chief of Tribhuvan University motivate the grantee. He gave a short lecture on future planning of Tribhuvan University and express his gratitude towards Rufford Foundation and asked for joint collaboration in future. He also requested to Rufford for continuing support to the organizer.
The conference coordinator Mr. Krishna Prasad Dahal concluded the two-day program. He acknowledged the Rufford Foundation and expressed his great gratitude towards Mr. Josh Cole for continuous suggestions and guidelines to make this program successful. He felt honour and faithfully towards the Rufford Foundation for giving the responsibility to organize the conference. He also expressed his hope for continuous support in the future. Master of the Ceremonies (MC), Assistant Professor of IOF, Hetauda Campus, hosted the conference: Mr. Narayan Pd. Tiwari “Nice”. His extraordinary presentation was mind-blowing.
VII. Comments from participants
It was our great pleasure that all the participants encouraged us, and amazed about the conference ideas and concept as event management. The Grants Director of Rufford Foundation, Mr. Josh Cole, was very happy to see the active participation of grant recipients and other researchers/conservationists, and well-organized way of Rufford Conference Organizing Committee.
• While contacting to each grantee using the Rufford Foundation webpage, some of the grantee`s email did not work and returned back as delivery failed.
• Some of the grantees were in outside the country and responded their unavailability during conference periods.
• Government officials blamed that some grantees directly go their fields without taking permissions from respective departments.
• Due to a heavy traffic jam in Kathmandu, participants had to manage time earlier to reach the conference venue.
The Rufford Conference was successfully completed with full of energetic and active participation from Rufford grantees, students, faculty members, national key conservationists who play the direct role on conserving natural resource management and policy formulation. The conference is one of the tools to monitor each grantee on whether they were successfully conducted their project work in the field or not. A two-way interaction between presenters and other participants was highly utilized during the conference periods. The followings were the major outcomes of RSG conference:
• Increased the capacity building of 91 participants through presentations, interactions and diversified knowledge in the different fields of biodiversity
• Created a forum for young researchers to explore their research results
• Provided a forum for natural resource managers, and appreciate the two ways interaction between presenters and other participants RSG grantees
• Enhanced the knowledge and technique to conserve both plants and animal diversity through various presentations.
The proceeding of the conference has also been submitted to Ministry of forest and Soil Conservation (MFSC), the ministry will make the future plan according well- known about the research activities so far conducted by the Rufford grantees.
The grantees got a chance to explore their innovative results to the wide range of audiences particularly among the policy makers, planners, conservationists and protected areas managers. The planner and policymakers will use the research findings in their working areas as well. They have a matured technical knowledge, which can use the young conservationists and apply in the future. As a result, sustainability of natural resource with balancing both plants and animal diversity would be expected through research, extension and sustainable development in the future.
Although the Rufford Foundation has significantly contributed the different grass-roots project in various parts of Nepal, proper monitoring and evaluation should be implemented for bringing the better results. The Rufford Conference is one the monitoring tools for sharing and exchanging the project`s results in the common forum. We hope, the foundation will also provide us the opportunity to see the progress of the projects in the field directly. You know that Institute of Forestry (IOF) has many student human resources, we would utilize our human resources in order to conduct the monitoring and evaluation of Rufford`s projects in the fields. Some participants also suggested that Rufford should provide to individual grant applicants about the rejection of their projects. Direct visiting the project areas in collaboration with the organization would give the better results for conserving biodiversity. Some participants also highlighted training on conservations issues and requested to the Rufford Foundation. Likewise, they also advised that the foundation should organize the international conference for participating the maximum number of participants in a single forum.
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