Between 1977 and 2001 the Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) ran eleven major multi-disciplinary overseas field research programmes. All of these have contributed to conservation and development priorities at government level.
These projects were funded with the assistance of major corporate donors, charitable donations and research grants. Working only at the invitation of host governments and in close co-operation with local scientists and educational establishments, the findings from these RGS-IBG projects were presented first in the host country, to enable results to be of benefit to local conservation and development priorities
The Society's most recent Field Research Programme The Shoals of Capricon Programme in the Western Indian Ocean ended in November 2001. The research, training and education activities begun as part of the Shoals programme continue in Mauritius and Seychelles under the direction of the the host nations.
Over the next five years, beginning in 2005, the RGS-IBG through its Research Programmes Group will support five innovative research projects that contribute directly to the theme ‘Geographical Perspectives on Global Change’. It is hoped that these will continue to showcase the Society’s involvement in leading-edge research.