The Rufford Small Grants Foundation Conference in Armenia



The Rufford Small Grants Foundation Conference in Armenia 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.

The welcome reception of the conference took place on 27th of September and representatives of Ministry of Nature Protection, environmental NGOs, international organizations, scientific institutions and other organizations participated on it. The special guests of the evening were Mr. Khachik Hakobyan, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Nature Protection of Republic of Armenia and Mr. Josh Cole, Grants Director of RSG Foundation. As result of meeting, new collaborations between representatives of local and invited organizations were established.

More then 20 participants from 8 countries attended conference, of which 15 conservationists presented their implemented and ongoing Rufford Funded Projects.

In the frame of round table discussion called “Cooperation and communication in conservation actions”, participants came out with a joint decision to make an international network of conservation oriented specialists and organizations under management of Young Biologists Association NGO and called it “Borderless Conservation Network”.

The conference served as platform for many specialists in conservation biology working with the same taxonomic groups to meet each other and find the ways of cooperation. On behalf of YBA established “Borderless Conservation Network” provides multidiscipline environment to discuss local conservation issues on an international level and organize joint biodiversity conservation and research projects. At the time the network is operating on a Facebook page level. Currently we are creating the network concept, discussing funding possibilities and inviting more conservationists to join the network.

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