EOCA Online Spring 2021 Conservation Vote Starts Today

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EOCA project vote

Thanks to the generous ongoing support of members throughout 2020, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)  is delighted to be in a position to fund more conservation projects in 2021 than ever before. The association’s annual spring Vote for Conservation will run over the next two weeks, and everyone is invited to help choose some of the projects to be funded. In line with the association’s new two year focus Wild for Nature: EOCA’s Landscape Legacy Project, all projects on the shortlist plan to tackle the issues of biodiversity loss and the climate emergency. (more…)

Extraordinary Success for EOCA’s Green Friday Conservation Fundraiser

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The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), is celebrating today following an online fundraising event which exceeded all expectations in raising money for conservation.  Together with 17 of its members, the association held an online Green Friday Fundraiser which, thanks to the generosity of the member companies, resulted in more than €50,000 being raised. This has provided a significant boost to the funds available for the association’s conservation projects.

In advance of Christmas, the online fundraiser enabled customers to purchase gifts for themselves and their loved ones, whilst at the same time, making a difference by raising funds for conservation work around the world.  The money raised will all go towards vital conservation projects supported by EOCA, including the six most recently selected, tackling plastic pollution in the environment and at source, in Spain, Italy, Brazil, Columbia, and the UK.

Seven members raised money for the association through actions on their own websites: Montane made a significant donation to the fundraiser, as an alternative to its traditional Black Friday Marketing spend. Cumulus held an online ‘garage sale’, of prototype clothing and modified items which were not suitable for selling through the usual retail channels. All 70 items sold out within 2 hours! Deuter, Gregory, KEEN, and Osprey all donated a generous percentage of their online sales over the Green Friday weekend or for a full week.  La Sportiva who, having raised money for EOCA for the last 3 Black Fridays, doubled the percentage they donated this time to 40% of all online sales over the weekend. Thanks to a month of raising awareness of environmental issues and EOCA’s work prior to the event, the fundraiser was a huge success with a significant donation being made.  In addition to all the events held over the Green Friday period, VAUDE held a separate Advent Fundraiser and donated a percentage of its online sales from that event.

EOCA partner Outdoor Gear For Good (OGFG), sold a large range of items via its OGFG eBay shop, with 100% of sales donated to EOCA to put into conservation projects.   Items were generously donated to OGFG from Berghaus, Craghoppers, Lowe Alpine, Nikwax, Ortlieb, Osprey, Pajak, Salomon, Stanley, Trangoworld and Ternua.  Richard Leedham, Founder of OGFG said “Having only launched the OGFG eBay shop in the spring of 2020, we have been delighted to have already raised over €20,000 for EOCA’s conservation projects this year.  The collaboration of OGFG, generous outdoor brands, and EOCA, with its expertise in directing funds to effective and much needed conservation work around the world, really seems to have generated a lot of interest and resulted in very positive results. We look forward to seeing this partnership grow into 2021 and beyond.”

Joint General Manager Catherine Savidge said, “The success of this Green Friday event, at the end of 2020 in particular, is truly extraordinary.  It clearly demonstrates the will of EOCA members to continue to see the bigger picture and to work with others for a better world.  They gave consumers who are seeing the value of habitats and ecosystems to their own health, and the health of the planet, the opportunity to give back.  This total means that fundraising actions with our members this year has raised over €100,000 – double what we raised in 2019! What a fabulous way to end the year! It puts EOCA in a very strong position for funding more vital conservation projects during 2021. Thank you to everyone who made it possible.


EOCA’s Plastic Free: Mountain To Sea target Smashed!

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The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is delighted to announce that, following its latest funding round, it has surpassed its two year target to clear 3000km of habitat, trail and beach of plastic waste and pollution, clearing a total of 4,183km.

300 million tonnes of plastic are produced annually globally, 8 million tonnes of which enter the oceans each year.  80% of marine plastics originates from land sources and is found on mountains, in glaciers, around crags, along and in rivers and lakes, in forests and on coastlines. In all these locations, it impacts disastrously on wildlife and blighting every type of habitat and landscape enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts.   100,000 marine mammals and 1 million seabirds are killed every year through entanglement or by ingesting plastic litter. (more…)

EOCA’s Online Conservation Fundraiser for Green Friday is now live: Get your favourite outdoor gear AND make a difference!

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The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), together with 17 of its members are holding an online Green Friday Fundraiser and it is now live!

In advance of Christmas, the online fundraiser enables customers to purchase gifts for themselves and their loved ones, while at the same time, making a difference by raising funds for conservation work around the world.  The money raised will all go towards vital conservation projects supported by EOCA, including the six most recently selected, tackling plastic pollution in the environment and at source, in Spain, Italy, Brazil, Columbia, and the UK.

Eight members have chosen to raise money for the association through actions on their own websites: (more…)

Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust secures EOCA
funding for Plastic Free Woodlands project

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EOCA finally announced  the winner of the project funding we hosted on Mountainblog.

The IT manager has been checking and ouble-checking the votes and here is the news you have all been patiently waiting for! In the LAND category, there were a total of 7.111 votes and the number of votes for each project were:

  • Plastic Free Woodlands: 2665
  • Stop the ALPS becoming Plastic Mountains: 2150
  • Restoration of Climbing Areas: 1498
  • Clean Cyprus: 798.

Huge congratulations to Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and its Plastic Free Woodlands project.

The project will remove redundant tree guards, for reuse or recycling and plant 7,000 trees in 5 woodlands to trial alternatives to the plastic tree guard. Find out more about the project here.

A big thank you to everyone who voted, and a special thank you to all the other projects involved and their hard work throughout the vote. We wish them all the best of luck with their projects.



EOCA – 2020 Projects: Cast your vote for the environment!

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For the 6th 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 159 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 8th October to 12.00 noon (GMT/CET+1) on 22nd October, MountainBlog Europe 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.


Young people from six nations will benefit from new #itsgreatoutthere grants

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The It’s Great Out There Coalition has confirmed the 10 projects that will be supported in the latest round of #itsgreatoutthere grants. Local initiatives in six different countries that mainly involve young people, will each receive €1.000, to help them get new participants active in the outdoors, experiencing activities that include climbing, camping, trekking, adventure racing, orienteering, canyoning, skiing and snowboarding. As well as backing the projects financially, the It’s Great Out There Coalition will also help connect the grant recipients with outdoor organisations that can offer additional support through the provision of specialist kit and expertise.

Launched in 2017 by the It’s Great Out There Coalition, the #itsgreatoutthere grants programme supports community based projects, which take new participants into the outdoors, with a particular focus on younger and more diverse audiences. Any non-profit organisation can apply for an #itsgreatoutthere grant and since they were introduced, they have supported 19 projects, directly benefiting nearly 5,500 people. Following the impact of COVID-19 on the non-profit sector, the coalition, supported by the European Outdoor Group, adapted the scheme in order to support a greater number of smaller projects that would otherwise struggle to get underway.


Applications for the micro-grants were invited over the summer and the coalition received some strong submissions. After reviewing the proposals, 10 projects were awarded grants, in Germany, Spain, Sweden, France, Serbia and the UK. The initiatives will allow young people from many different backgrounds and some very challenging circumstances to experience outdoor activities for the first time. Full details of the successful projects can be found at this link (see below for a summary of each).


Margo de Lange, policy officer at the It’s Great Out There Coalition, comments:

“In July, we teamed up with the European Outdoor Group to launch an urgent call for projects to help get Europe active in the outdoors again after lockdown. This was on the back of our research* that clearly showed that citizens had gained a greater appreciation of the outdoors and an increased desire to explore the natural world once restrictions lifted. By adapting our grants programme, we were able to offer support to more projects that would otherwise struggle to go ahead in the current circumstances. The response has been brilliant. We received some amazing proposals from all over Europe and the micro-grants that we have awarded are going to have a profoundly positive impact for those mainly young people who will benefit, many of whom will be experiencing the hills and mountains for the first time.”


Following the award of the #itsgreatoutthere grants, the It’s Great Out There Coalition is now helping the successful projects to make connections with organisations and individuals in the outdoor industry who may be able to offer additional assistance, through funding or support in kind, such as the provision of kit or expertise. Many coalition members have provided help for grant recipients since the programme was launched in 2017, and have continued to work with the coalition to find suitable projects that meet the overarching objective of the #itsgreatoutthere campaign, to get Europe more active outdoors.

For more information about the #itsgreatoutthere grants programme, visit www.itsgreatoutthere.com/grants.

Click here to read about the 2020 #ITSGREATOUTTHERE Micro-Grants

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.