EOCA Online Conservation Fundraiser Launches Next Week

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With the unfortunate cancellation of OutDoor by ISPO, Europe’s largest outdoor trade fair, at the end of this month, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) will, for the first time, run their Conservation Fundraiser online.  An event which would ordinarily be hosted at the show, EOCA have taken the opportunity to launch their first ever online fundraiser on Saturday 27th June(more…)

EOCA Open for Summer Funding Applications!

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The new month has brought fresh hope for conservation with the opening of the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)’s latest funding round. Applications will be accepted until the 30th June and the association is looking specifically for projects involving plastic waste clean up.

In line with its two year Plastic Free: Mountain to Sea campaign, with a target set to clear 3000km of trail, coast, river and mountain from plastic waste, this summer’s funding round is appealing for organisations involved in cleaning habitats from the blight of rubbish to apply for up to €30,000 to help raise awareness of the issue, reduce single use plastic waste at source, and clean up the habitats where it is already causing damage, pollution and threatening wildlife. (more…)

COVID-19 – What does it mean for EOCA?

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COVID-19 is having a large effect on every aspect of our lives at the moment, and we are currently working out what that means for EOCA and what we can realistically hope to achieve this year.
See below for the impact which it is going to have on the first of our public votes.  We are also reviewing how many projects we will be able to fund this year, firstly because we are expecting a drop in our own funding, and secondly because the vast majority of our projects work within communities, with support of public events and volunteers to carry out essential work – which will necessarily be postponed for the immediate future.  As so much is impacted by this crisis, and so much is unknown, we will need to regularly  reassess the situation and alter what we do accordingly.

It is thought to be highly likely that this, and many other new viruses introduced to humans, are caused by the ever increasing proximity with which we are getting to wild animals, particularly due to the never-ending destruction of natural habitats. Far from EOCA being a ‘nice to do’, this crisis highlights that the work we fund and the organisations that carry it out are becoming more and more vital … for wildlife, for habitats and for the human race.

See HERE for a thought-provoking article.


EOCA at ISPO Munich 2020

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EOCA had a really successful ISPO edition and this is a good news also for the environment. Watch the video interview with Tanya Bascombe (EOCA General Manager) and support EOCA.


La Sportiva’s Black Friday Sales
Fund Conservation

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For the third 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. Generously 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.

EOCA was delighted when its member La Sportiva took the initiative to raise extra funds for the Association to spend on conservation during 2017 and then again in 2018 and 2019. In total, a donation of €4400 for the Association was raised through the fundraising activity in 2019, 100% of which the Association will put into the conservation projects it supports during 2020. The cheque was handed to EOCA at ISPO 2020 in Munich. The projects it will support will conserve threatened landscapes, habitats and species, and will also have a clear link to the outdoor enthusiast. (more…)

Strong start for EOCA at ISPO 2020

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The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is looking forward to ISPO at the end of the week, where signs of last year’s enthusiasm for the association continue to grow. Increased participants for the Plastic Pledge, more items for the Conservation Fundraiser and a panel talk to raise awareness about EOCA are just a few of the things to look forward to early on in this new decade. (more…)

Record Breaking Success for EOCA in 2019

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The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is looking forwards to 2020 by celebrating its most successful year to date in more ways than one.  Record number of new members, more money than ever in one year spent on conservation projects, over 2/3 of funds raised already for its public fundraiser project and the launch and enthusiastic uptake of its Plastic Pledge have all combined to ensure that 2019 will be remembered as the year the association moved from being a ‘nice to do’ to becoming an essential part of a business’s CSR strategy. (more…)

Get Involved in EOCA’s Autumn Vote to Commit €180,000 to Conservation Projects!

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The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is set to grant €180,000 to conservation projects this autumn and is calling on everyone to help it select the projects to receive the funds.

Catherine Savidge, Joint General Manager of EOCA said “following a summer of carefully assessing and scoring over 70 different funding applications and discussing them with our Scientific Advisers, we are now delighted that we have a shortlist of worthwhile conservation projects, all of which EOCA wishes it could fund.  This autumn, EOCA has €180,000 to grant to projects and so is asking for your help to choose which projects receive the funding.”

The public vote runs until noon (BST)/13.00hrs (CEST) on the 21st October. There are three categories of projects and voters can select one project in each category per electronic device. One category is devoted to Plastic Pollution Clean Up actions. This is in line with EOCA’s current two year focus on this issue through which the association and its members are aiming to clear 3000 km of habitat of plastic pollution – the distance from the Mediterranean Coast to Lapland. The other two categories of projects have a wide range of other important conservation issues represented from around the world, all with a link to the outdoor enthusiast.

“Repeatedly, we get feedback from projects involved in the vote that taking part brings many benefits to them beyond selecting which projects receive funding” explained Catherine. “ It is an opportunity to raise awareness of their projects on an international platform, and to highlight the critical conservation issue they are working on. Time and again, the projects get support from unexpected places during the vote including national press, TV and radio, celebrities and politicians.”

The vote is hosted on the EOCA website here. One of the three categories is also hosted on Mountainblog Europe
Following the public vote, an EOCA members-only vote will run from Thursday 24th October until Friday 1 November to choose further projects from the shortlist to receive funding.



EOCA – 2019 Projects: Cast your vote for the environment!

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For the 5th 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 150 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 several 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 7th October to 12.00 noon (GMT/CET+1) on 21st October, MountainBlog Europe gives the possibility to read the details of the shortlisted 5 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.



Project  13 Reforestation of 10,00 trees, Ecuador
Nominated by: Gregory
 Red Forestal Foundation is a sustainable and inclusive reforestation foundation based in Ecuador, which makes use of new communication technologies to conserve biodiversity, enhance ecosystem services and mitigate climate change.  It contributes to the sustainable management, recovery and conservation of biodiversity in the Ecuadorian territory and abroad in acceptance with current laws, regulations and international agreements.
Project Objectives: Red Forestal developed the first mobile application for biodiversity conservation (https://arbola.app), through which donors all over the world can plant native and endemic tree species in a partnership project in Ecuador. It aims to reforest areas of key importance for biodiversity conservation and protection, including the protection of natural habitats of endemic and threatened species. EOCA funding will plant a total of 10,000 trees for the restoration and protection of the habitat of several endemic and threatened species which live in the Buenaventura and Tapichalaca Reserves and are threatened by farming and cattle activities, illegal logging and mining activities. EOCA’s funding will cover the costs for tree nursery set up, the plantation establishment and the first year of maintenance of the trees. The Red Forestal Foundation will cover the second- and third-year maintenance costs and its partner Jocotoco Conservation Foundation, which owns the reserves, will execute the project, working with local communities and providing trails and lodges for hikers to explore the area.
Project Budget:  €48,256
Amount Requested: €19,500
Website:  www.redforestal.org



Project 31: Conservation of the Maroon fronted parrot, Mexico
Nominated by: Snugpak
Organisation:  Protección de la Fauna Mexicana AC (PROFAUNA)’s goal is aimed at conservation, monitoring and providing guidance on all areas related to natural resources, flora, fauna and the environment in general, through a variety of mechanisms.
Project Objectives: The Sierra de Zapalinamé Natural State Reserve supports over 1,800 species; 32 of which are threatened, in particular the Maroon fronted parrot that is endemic to the region. The reserve has been affected by changes in land use and forest fires, mainly caused by careless visitors, and the parrot’s feeding and nesting areas are also those with highest pressure from climbers, hikers and adventure seekers.  This project will plant out 500 seedlings of the Maroon fronted parrot’s favourite tree species (Gregg’s Pine).  10km of hiking trails will be maintained, installing interpretive signs about the parrot on the most visited trails and campsites.  A management plan for 20 climbing routes will be devised in conjunction with park rangers, tourism providers and climbing clubs, who will also undergo training on the responsible use of natural resources and prevention of fires. There will also be 10 guided school visits, an exhibition and the visitor centre will also educate visitors about preventing fires and not littering.
Project Budget:  €50,997
Amount Requested: €21,178
Website:  www.zapaliname.org



PROJECT 32:Protecting the Forest Frontier, Cambodia
Nominated by: Icebug
Organisation:  Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment (ELIE) aims to improve the health and welfare of captive elephants in Mondulkiri province, conserve wild elephants’ natural habitat and support local indigenous people who work with them.  This is achieved by running the award winning sanctuary the Elephant Valley Project and many other community and conservation support programmes.
Project Objectives: Cambodia has one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation and biodiversity is declining at a rapid rate. In Cambodia’s Mondulkiri Province, intact forests are the last frontier protecting vulnerable and endangered species, providing one of the last habitats for Asian elephants.  Plantations, mining, and residential and industrial development are the main threats and there is a high incidence of illegal logging and poaching.  The Elephant Valley Project focuses on the conservation of endangered Asian elephants and their habitat, bringing thousands of outdoor enthusiasts to the jungles of Mondulkiri annually to see native and rescued Asian elephants. This project will work with the indigenous Bunong community to demarcate boundaries of their threatened community forest, empowering them to contest illegal land grabs, forest cutting and poaching. Visitors will benefit from higher chances of seeing rare species in the forest, and will set up camera traps and participate in biodiversity monitoring on guided jungle treks. An additional 5 community rangers will boost the current team and undertake patrols in and around the boundaries of the protected area.
Project Budget:  €36,800
Amount Requested: €26,300
Website:  www.elephantvalleyproject.org


PROJECT 56: Solving Human Bear Conflict in Vayots Dzor, Armenia
Nominated by: Nikwax
Organisation:  Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) works for wildlife protection, environmental education and sustainable development, engaging rural populations in the sustainable development of their communities.
Project Objectives: The Syrian Brown Bear has been the victim of uncontrolled hunting, trapping and persecution since the break up of the Soviet Union, driving down its numbers as well as populations of many other species. FPWC privately protects about 30,000 hectares of land, creating a buffer zone near Khosrov State Forest Reserve and safe corridors for the passage of wild animals. Additionally, FPWC, in cooperation with International Animal Rescue, started the country’s first Animal Rescue Centre, rehabilitating and releasing rescued captive bears back into the wild. The population is now growing, however so too are cases of human-bear conflict as bears stray onto private land.  The project will restore habitat destroyed by illegal logging and forest fires, plant native fruit seedlings outside conflict zones to keep bears away from areas of habitation, investigate conflict cases, map conflict zones and install mobile electric fences in the most vulnerable places, run anti poaching / logging patrols, raising awareness by encouraging hiking, biking and wildlife watching activities as well as visits to the Animal Rescue Centre.
Project Budget:  €38,400
Amount Requested:  €27,900
Website:  www.fpwc.org


PROJECT 59: Protect the Clouded Leopard, Nepal
Nominated by: Lowe Alpine
Organisation:  Friends of Nature (FON) enhances socio-cultural and environmental conditions through applied research, advocacy and model project interventions.
Project Objectives: Extending from 1400-3500 meters, the Lower Annapurna Conservation Area provides refuge to over 30 species of mammal including the globally threatened clouded leopard. The area is inhabited by more than 800 households, the majority of whom depend heavily on this forest for harvesting timber, fuel-wood, medicinal plants, livestock herding, and illegal hunting for bush meat. This has led to forest degradation, human-wildlife conflicts, retaliatory killings and forest fires. The project will collaborate with local stakeholders to diversify livelihood options (nature guiding, homestay management, clouded leopard envoys, identifying and upgrading eco-tourism sites, upgrading and restoring trekking trails), and reduce human-wildlife conflict (training, predator deterrent kits, fox lights) in order to address the threats to clouded leopard. Working with seven schools, two Conservation Area Management Committees and 4000 local people, EOCA funding will also be used to produce a clouded leopard illustrated booklet, carry out clouded leopard day celebration, capacity building of locals and habitat patrolling to remove snares.
Project Budget: €39,740
Amount Requested: €30,000
Website: www.fonnepal.org


EOCA Celebrates a Record Number of New Members, Supporting Conservation Together

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The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) has been delighted to welcome 23 new companies into membership already during 2019 – more than in any other single year in the history of the association. This brings the total number members to 150 and will make a significant difference to the number of hands-on conservation projects the association can support. (more…)