New public fundraiser for EOCA:
donate to reduce single use plastic

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As part of its newly-launched focus on plastic clean-up, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) has launched a public fundraiser to raise money to help reduce single use plastic. The project, part of Surfrider Foundation Europe’s ‘Ocean Initiatives programme will work to raise awareness and educate thousands of people through waste collection and clean-up events.

Plastic pollution is found in mountains, around crags, in rivers and lakes, forests, coastlines and oceans, impacting disastrously on wildlife and blighting every type of habitat and landscape enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts.  It is estimated that 100,000 marine mammals and 1 million seabirds are killed every year through entanglement or by ingesting plastic litter.

As an organisation raising money to look after the health and well-being of the planet, EOCA is committed to playing its part in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  SDG 14 (Life Below Water) is one of those highlighted by EOCA as of utmost of relevance to its own vision and new focus as it aims to “prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution”.

With this in mind, EOCA will work with its members and the European outdoor industry to reduce their use of everyday single use plastics, whist also raising awareness through the organisation of clean ups to educate people on how to stop plastic waste from getting into wild habitats from the summits of mountains to the depths of the oceans. The headline target is that EOCA and its members will collectively clear 3000km of habitat, trail and beach of plastic waste and pollution over the next 2 years.  That is the distance from the Mediterranean coast to Lapland! Whilst EOCA’s public vote is now underway to select its first conservation projects for 2019, the association has also launched this public fundraiser to raise further money for and get involved in another vital project.

Since starting in 1990, Surfrider Foundation Europe has placed the problem of marine litter at the heart of its mission. The overall objectives of its ‘Ocean Initiatives’ programme, which has been running for almost 25 years, are to limit new waste generation, promote a circular economy for 100% of generated waste and limit the impact of existing waste in the environment. EOCA funding will help organise at least 1600 public clean-up events, expanding into new areas such as in-ocean cleans, mobilising 60,000 people in 47 countries, and educating 100,000 people. Data on the number and type of collected items from 1195km of beaches, lakes, rivers and seabeds all over the world will fuel scientific research and underpin lobbying of the EU for stricter targets on the reduction of waste and pollution entering our oceans.

EOCA is calling on individuals and companies to donate via their website to fund this ambitious project. Every €10 donated via EOCA will help fund an area of 50 metres squared – the area of two olympic size swimming pools!– of clean-ups. Please see the donate button on www.outdoorconservation.eu or www.eoca.de . There is also the option to go onto www.oceaninitiatives.org to find a clean up event to get involved in.

INFO: European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)

EOCA Spring Public Vote Underway

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The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) has launched the first of its two annual public online votes to help it choose which conservation projects to support, and will to midday (GMT+1) on 11th April.

To launch its new Plastic Free: Mountain to Sea focus, this funding round only highlights projects which tackle plastic pollution – involving mass clean up events, education and campaigns to change people’s behaviours and attitudes to plastic waste.

Plastic pollution is found in mountains, around crags, along and in rivers and lakes, forests and coastlines impacting disastrously on wildlife and blighting every type of habitat and landscape enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts. Much of the plastic waste will find its way to lakes and rivers and ultimately end up in the oceans.  100,000 marine mammals and 1 million seabirds are killed every year through entanglement or by ingesting plastic litter. Tackling the problems presented by plastic waste already in the environment AND reducing the amount of waste that gets there in the future are both vitally important.

 

This year there are 14 projects working in 16 different countries all looking for funding.  All have been through the rigorous EOCA selection criteria overseen by its Scientific Advisors, and are all worthy of support.  The projects have been divided into 3 categories:  Nature (projects focused on protecting and/or restoring habitats), Ocean (projects restoring beaches, coastlines, and ocean habitats) and Mountain (conservation of high altitude habitats).  As always, projects all address a threat to the habitat, engage and benefit local communities, and have a link and relevance to outdoor enthusiasts.  EOCA is asking for people to vote once in each category and the project with the highest number of votes per category will receive the funding they requested. The winners will be announced soon after the 11th April on EOCA’s social media pages. Following the public vote, a private vote for EOCA members will be held to choose further projects to fund.

To see which projects are looking for funding and to get involved in the vote, please follow this link here.

INFO: European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)

 

Eoca Plastic Free – Mountain to Sea at ISPO 2019

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At ISPO 2019, Tanya Bascombe and Catherine Savidge (General Managers) present the latest news and projects by EOCA.

INFO: EOCA

La Sportiva’s Black Friday Sales Turn Green

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For the second year in a row, Italian technical footwear, clothing and accessories brand La Sportiva has used its sales during the ‘Black Friday’ weekend to support nature conservation. By donating 20% of the weekend’s income to the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), La Sportiva has been able to boost the funds available to the Association’s conservation projects. (more…)

EOCA’s Autumn Conservation Vote Brings Total 2018 Funding To Over €330,000

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Following a public vote which reached millions, and a members’ only vote, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is delighted to announce the 5 projects selected to receive funding this autumn. This brings the total number of projects to receive funding from the Association and its members during 2018 to 14, in 12 different countries.

During June, EOCA received 85 applications for funding from non-profit organisations around the world. All of these applications were scrutinized and assessed against a well-established list of criteria for EOCA funding. A shortlist was drawn up of the projects most exactly meeting the requirements of the Association, which include the need to address a threat to a habitat, landscape or species, have a link to outdoor enthusiasts, work with and benefit local communities, involve an educational element and leave a legacy. This shortlist was reviewed by the Association’s panel of Scientific Advisors, all experts in a different area of conservation who kindly fulfill this role voluntarily. Each and every project in the shortlist is vitally important and EOCA would be happy to fund any of them. Sadly, the funding is not available to fund them all and so
the final list of projects to receive funding is selected through 2 votes. An online public vote was held, in conjunction with Mountain Blog to select 3 projects for funding, followed by a vote of the members only to select a further 2.

During the public vote, 26,000 votes were cast supporting the projects, and the combined reach of this vote and a similar vote during the spring has conservatively been calculated at over 48 million people. A number of well known celebrities and leading naturalists got involved in the vote this autumn. One project received a hand written letter from Sir David Attenborough supporting their project and wishing them luck. Chris Packham, Sir Chris Bonnington, Julia Bradbury and George Monbiot all got involved in the UK supporting the vote and calling for people to get involved.
Involvement in the vote brings many benefits to all of the projects in that it increases awareness and support of their projects on an international platform.

Catherine Savidge, Joint General Manager of EOCA said “As results were announced, EOCA was thrilled to see one of the projects and the Association itself being discussed in the Scottish Parliament, where EOCA was described as a ‘A Major European Funding Award’. You can watch a very short clip we have taken of the much larger discussion HERE.*”

The vote brings the total amount of money put into conservation bodies by EOCA and its members, including its Summit Members during 2018 to over €333,000. This is funding 14 projects across the world, 9 of which are in Europe.

The projects selected during the autumn votes are:

Mending Paths and Protecting Arctic-Alpine Habitat on Carn Liath, Scotland
Nominated by: Montane

Beinn a’Ghlo in the Cairngorms has an arctic-alpine mountain environment with tundra like characteristics and long-lasting snow patches. These characteristics combined with the steep hillsides, friable soil and fragile vegetation cover makes this upland area particularly susceptible to erosion from even a relatively small number of users. Beinn a’Ghlo has been designated as a Site of Specific Scientific Interest, recognising the importance of the area for conservation and wildlife. As well as the species-rich nardus grasslands, petrifying springs, alpine and boreal heaths and European dry heaths to be found, it is also home to several species of upland ground nesting birds, five of which are endangered, including the curlew, whose breeding population in the UK has declined by 62% in recent years. The increase in the popularity of hillwalking has led to informal paths developing, causing the destruction of wildlife habitats, particularly in upland areas. Carn Liath on Beinn a’Ghlo is a priority due to the extent of existing and potential for more, significant damage and requires a major path repair with light-touch techniques in some of the lower sections and a fully built path higher up the hillside, combatting erosion and encouraging re-vegetation.

Obsolete Facilities, Alps
Nominated by: Marmot

Obsolete facilities are disused artificial equipment abandoned in natural mountain areas. These lengths of barbed wire, abandoned ski lifts or various cables are a real plague for wilderness, environment and outdoor enthusiasts in mountains. Until recently, there was no obligation to remove these old structures, even though they represented a great danger to  humans and wildlife. Paragliders have recently been killed after hitting cables. Birds, including vultures, eagles and owls are regularly killed or injured by cables and other facilities – 835 carcasses were found between 2000 and 2004 in one study. Mammals, and amphibians are also trapped in these items and either injured or killed, particularly in winter when the structures are hidden by snow. This project, will continue the work of Mountain Wilderness, to raise awareness of the issue with local authorities, outdoor enthusiasts and online, and carry out 4 dismantling operations in Mercantour National Park, Vanoise National Park, Mont Cenis Massif and Cerces Massif, where barbed wires and other scrap remains from WW2. In total, it is anticipated that over 100 people will be involved in clearing over 260 ha of 9 tonnes of metal.

Repairing Paths and Protecting Peat Bog on Cut Gate, UK
Nominated by: Pro Agencies
The Cut Gate bridleway runs through an area of internationally important and stunningly beautiful blanket bog habitat in the Peak District National Park. The bridleway is popular with walkers, mountain-bikers and horse riders who have championed a campaign to protect Cut Gate. The fragile peat layer has suffered from erosion and the widening of the route, which is putting pressure on the surrounding habitat of blanket bog vegetation. The project will repair three sections of the popular upland bridleway which have become highly eroded and prone to flooding. The waterlogged surface results in users taking a wider route, further damaging the surrounding blanket bog habitat, vegetation and peat. The bridleway will be sensitively repaired using local stone, encouraging users to follow the path to prevent further damage to the surrounding habitat, while still preserving the character of the surrounding landscape and the enjoyment of the route.

The Reds Return: Securing the Future of the Red Squirrel, Scotland
Nominated by: Mountain Equipment
The red squirrel is the most beloved mammal in the UK and an iconic species of Caledonian pinewoods. Scotland is the last real UK stronghold for reds and this project aims to strengthen the conservation status of UK’s red squirrels by establishing new, self-sustaining populations in areas of the Highlands free from the threats of grey squirrels and disease. Trees for Life has been involved in pioneering this translocation technique and early efforts have successfully established new flourishing red squirrel populations in a small number of Scottish locations. The project has identified several forest areas in the Northern Highlands of Scotland which are perfect habitats for reds but which they can’t reach on their own due to the large areas of open ground in between the forests and their current range. With the support of landowners, relevant authorities and local communities, they will re-introduce 4 new populations of red squirrels to these areas and inspire people to care for them through community events, annual surveys and citizen science observations.

Restoring the Wetlands of the Cambodian Lower Mekong Delta
Nominated by: Bergans
Cambodia’s wetlands are some of the world’s most valuable ecosystems, supporting a wealth of endangered bird, fish and plant species and providing a vital source of food and income for vulnerable rural communities. But in just 15 years, half of Cambodia’s wetlands have disappeared. This project will restore two globally important protected areas in the Lower Mekong Delta, which support half the regional population of the Sarus Crane – the world’s tallest flying bird and an iconic flagship species of open wetlands. Agricultural encroachment, invasive species and the overharvesting of wetland  esources have led to a dramatic decline in the Sarus Crane population, and without urgent action to restore its habitat, the regional population will be lost forever. The project will restore 200 hectares of degraded habitat by working with local communities to clear invasive species, and will educate 1000 local people and schoolchildren on the importance of wetlands and the sustainable use of natural resources. The project will also provide training and support to a community ecotourism initiative, enabling it to provide inspiring outdoor experiences for a growing number of visitors and increase income by 25%, generating muchneeded funds for community development and wetland conservation.

INFO: EOCA

EOCA: Cast your vote for the environment
on MountainBlog.it

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vote-now-eoca

For the 4th year as a media partner of the European Outdoor Conservation Association EOCA, MountainBlog is very happy to host again the autumn EOCA vote for conservation! This will give our readers the chance to help choose which valuable conservation projects EOCA funds this year.

EOCA is a conservation charity which has over 139 member companies that pay an annual membership fee which is spent on conservation work around the world.

During July, EOCA was open for applications for funding from organisations looking to implement valuable conservation projects around the world. They received a staggering 85 applications and e have spent their summer reading through all of these applications, assessing them against the EOCA strict guidelines and have produced a shortlist of the projects which best meet the criteria.

Now these projects need your help! From 00.01 (GMT / CET+1) on 8th October to 12.00 noon (GMT/CET+1) on 22nd October, MountainBlog gives the possibility to read the details of the shortlisted 4 projects. Please, take a minute to read though them, choose your favourite and click to vote for it – it is that simple! The project with the most votes will get funding to carry out their work so your vote really can make a difference.

What are you waiting for: help the environment, go on www.mountainBlog.it and vote now!

OutDoor 2018 Round Up

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Klean Kanteen

Following a successful 4 days at the show, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is delighted to announce having raised over €25,000 for conservation and gained 3 new members.

Amidst the flurry of activity that saw the staging of the 25th OutDoor show in Friedrichshafen last month, there were fundraisers, cocktails, sandals, press conferences and tree celebrations making it one of the most successful ever for the conservation charity.

In addition to their popular sandal sale during the show, KEEN further supported their Banda Aceh Mangrove planting project through an innovative donation wall on their stand. Guests to their legendary KEENFEST BBQ were invited to purchase branded reusable cups, which not only saved waste and entitled the holder to free drinks all night, but also raised €1500 for the conservation project, bringing the total raised at the show for this long term partner of KEEN to a fantastic €5000.

Klean Kanteen sold special edition steel pints with straws and raised €1600 for EOCA’s 2 Million Tree project – contributing another 4000 trees. Bergans of Norway’s ReDesign project made new products from old on their stand and raised €424 which equated to 1060 trees and The North Face raised €386 with their ReMade project, equating to a further 965 trees. Gregory Packs ran an impromptu collection during their Happy Hour collecting €202 and Ternua designed a roll away pack to raise money for EOCA, selling out on the first day of the show and raising €750 to fund nearly 1900 new trees.

Not only this, but since the show closed it doors, three new members have signed up to EOCA: UK Tree Tent producer Tentsile, Taiwanese high-tech, functional textile manufacturer SINGTEX and Polish down-insulated gear manufacturer PAJAK.

Finally, the show was one of celebration as the Association announced it had reached – and surpassed – its target of planting 2 million trees to commemorate having raised €2 million in 10 years. Leaving a solid and lasting legacy from the European outdoor industry, the total stands at 2,081,276 trees, with the charity having now funded the planting of 2,668,722 trees since it started in 2006!

Joint General Manager Tanya Bascombe said, “The OutDoor show this year was one of celebration and excitement. A huge amount of money has been raised by and on behalf of EOCA, thanks to our generous members; we have welcomed new companies to the Association and all our members are proving that the industry, by working together, is having a very real and positive impact on our wild spaces’.

INFO: European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)

ENO and Stanley named as EOCA Conservation Champions!

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Outdoor Party 2018, EOCA Spendenaktion

 

Every year, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) gives the ‘Conservation Champion’ award to members that have ‘gone the extra mile’ to support conservation. The award recognises members that have taken the initiative to raise extra money for and awareness of conservation through the Association. EOCA is delighted to name Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) and Stanley – a PMI brand, as its Conservation Champions for 2018.

ENO approached EOCA soon after joining the Association with an ambitious plan to become the first member to custom design an EOCA-specific product to be sold at retail. The resulting stunning hammock in EOCA’s colours was launched during the conservation fundraiser at OutDoor 2017 and has since been sold at retail across Europe. A percentage of the sale of each hammock is coming to EOCA to be spent on conservation projects around the world.

Stanley has consistently been an active and innovative supporter of EOCA. For the past 3 years, Stanley, in partnership with EOCA, has prepared and donated many hundreds of customised products in order to support raising funds for conservation and conveying EOCA’s mission. These iconic Stanley insulated mugs and bottles have featured the EOCA logo or specific EOCA project logos and have been sold at the OutDoor and ISPO shows. These high quality and attractive
products have been hugely popular and their sale has funded the planting of many thousands of trees as well as supporting other conservation activities.

Catherine Savidge, Joint General Manager of EOCA said, “the Conservation Champion Award is about recognising member companies large and small, who benefit conservation through EOCA with creative and forward thinking initiatives. We are proud to work with these two companies, who have both successfully raised awareness of EOCA and additional funds for conservation through their passion and responsibility for the great outdoors. The two companies were officially announced and presented with their certificates on the main stage of the OutDoor party in Friedrichshafen.”

 

INFO: EOCA

Two Million breaths of fresh air at OutDoor 2018

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spare image 8

 

TARGET REACHED!!! EOCA Members have successfully planted 2 million trees in 2 years, benefitting wildlife, local communities, outdoor enthusiasts and leaving a long and lasting legacy! Celebrating this fundraising for further conservation and the launch of its 100th project are all part of the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)’s plans at OutDoor in Friedrichshafen at the weekend. (more…)

EOCA Conservation Vote Starts Today!

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IMG_2094 copy2

The next European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) public conservation vote has just gone live and voting has started in earnest! Anyone with an interest in conserving threatened wild spaces, species and habitats is being asked to go online and have their say as to which of the proposed nature conservation projects should receive funding of up to €30,000.

The ever popular spring vote, which has taken place each year for the last 8 years, asks the public to help EOCA choose projects from three approved shortlists. The project in each category (Mountain, Forest and Water) with the most votes will each gain funding of up to €30,000. Media partners Alpin and The Great Outdoors are supporting the Mountain category highlighting the projects in their magazines and online during the vote itself.

Joint General Manager Tanya Bascombe explained the importance of the process. “As well as raising awareness of what the European outdoor industry and EOCA’s member companies are doing to conserve and protect wild spaces, the voting process is a hugely beneficial opportunity for all of the conservation organisations involved. They are on an international stage, raising awareness of important conservation issues and gaining new support for their work along the way. This is about the European outdoor industry giving back – conserving the great outdoors and its various habitats and species which the industry and its customers are so passionate about”.

The public vote has attracted huge interest internationally over the years, with national radio stations, newspapers, politicians, celebrities and many people on social media all getting involved in encouraging people to join in. The coverage acheived is staggering, with over 60 million people reached in the spring of 2017 (statistic from Outdoor Bloggers Network) making the process a valuable tool in raising awareness of critical conservation issues around the world. In eleven years, EOCA has given over €2.3 million to conservation projects around the world, some chosen through the public vote, and others by the association’s members.

Tanya added,”This is always an incredibly exciting time of year for us and for the projects involved. Thousands of people get involved to have their say on which of these vital projects should be supported by EOCA in the coming year. Each project has already undergone a rigorous assessment, which has then been reviewed by a panel of scientific advisors, before getting on to the shortlist, so we would be extremely happy to fund any one of those taking part.”

Voting in each of the three categories is now open and will close at 12.00 noon GMT on the 23rd March. You can read about all of the projects looking for funding and votes by visiting www.outdoorconservation.eu or www.eoca.de

INFO: EOCA