EOCA – 2014 Project Funding: How to Apply, Who can Apply?

Published by Mountainblog on .

full_F179F3D3-DCDA-AD0E-85C5731024A9FD84Non profit organisations can apply to the Association for grants of up to €30,000 to implement a conservation project in any country around the world except North America (where the Conservation Alliance provides funding for conservation efforts from the North American outdoor industry).  Projects must protect a threatened species or habitat AND have a link to the outdoor user.Members of the European Outdoor Conservation Association can nominate up to three projects (from different, or the same organisations) each year.The application process for funding projects in 2014 will start on 1st November 2013 with a closing date of 30th November.

During December 2013 and January 2014, we will be shortlisting the projects and will let applicants know if they have been successful once that process is finished. The shortlist is drawn up at the sole discretion of the General Managers, using criteria based on the points below. The General Managers will seek advice from EOCA’s Scientific Advisors if required.

The initial funding for the chosen projects will be available from April/June 2014.

How to Apply

If you are a conservation organisation looking for funding, please contact one of our members to see if they would be willing to nominate your project.

If you do not know any of our members, please apply directly to us and we will find a nominating company for you.

What are we looking for in a project application?
There are 5 main areas we have based the application form on, taken from ‘The Five-S Framework for Site Conservation’, published by The Nature Conservancy www.nature.org

– What species, habitat or broader ecosystem is this project trying to conserve?

– What are the threats posed to this species, habitat or broader ecosystem, why does it need conserving?
– What effect are the threats having on the above?
– What will happen if nothing is done about the threats?

– Where do these threats come from?

– How will this project protect, enhance or restore the area to deal with those threats?
– Are the threats something that this project can eliminate completely?
– Are they something that the project can alleviate through education or doing things in a different or innovative way?
– How will the project include/ involve the local community?
– How will the project include / involve visitors to the area / people who recreate in this area / other communities of interest?
– What are 3 measurable, time-orientated outcomes?

– How will the project assess how the threats have been alleviated / eliminated?
– How will you ensure that the project is sustainable beyond the duration of the project?
– What will the long-term legacy be after the EOCA project has finished? How will activities or outcomes continue?
– Will innovative approaches used in this project be replicable to other projects?

Not only this, but we would very much like to see a specific link to the outdoor user in all projects.

As EOCA is raising money from the European outdoor industry, we feel that conservation and restoration work should go hand-in-hand with responsible use of the ‘wild’ areas we all enjoy. This is intended to be a positive, rather than limiting focus and may include enhancing the visitor’s experience in an area as well as protecting an area from any detrimental impact caused by the visitor. It will make projects very relevant to those that are contributing towards their funding. As a small organisation, we hope that, not only will this give the projects we support a unique and specific focus, but will help other smaller organisations, which may not otherwise be considered for funding elsewhere, attract a grant from EOCA.

Extra points will be given for innovate solutions to ‘old’ problems, particularly if they can be transferred to other geographical areas!

Please read the following carefully before you submit your application form to the Association. It will help you understand the types of nature conservation projects we are looking for and the information we need from you.


The two main areas that must be addressed in your application are:

1. Protect, enhance or restore threatened key species, habitats or broader ecosystems in ‘wild’ areas (10 points)
EOCA defines ‘wild’ areas as non-urban environments and ecosystems occurring in as natural a state as possible, given the area’s location and use. This may include for example moorland, hills, mountains, coasts, rivers, forest, grassland, peatland and ocean areas. ‘Key’ species, habitats or ecosystems are defined here as those which are threatened, those which play a ‘keystone’ function, or those which are indicators of broader ecosystem health*. The project must identify and address the key threats to the species, habitats or broader ecosystems, and how it will protect and /or enhance them. Innovative solutions to ‘old’ problems will be especially welcome!

*Is the species an ‘indicator’ of wider habitat and ecosystem health? i.e. by recovering its populations, will it have a beneficial effect on other species and wildlife communities? Can the species be considered a ‘keystone’ species i.e. one that has a disproportionately large effect on its environment relative to its abundance, and may create conditions for other species to thrive?

2. Consider the needs of the recreational user (10 points)
The project must enhance the experience of outdoor users as well as protecting the identified species, habitat or broader ecosystem from any negative impact by visiting outdoor users. Projects may, for example, enhance a visitor’s experience by protecting a threatened species they might then see, or protect an area by ensuring trails and /or associated information / education keeps visitors from damaging fragile habitats or disturbing vulnerable wildlife.

At this stage, if the project being assessed receives less than 12 points, it will not proceed any further in the application process.

Project Outcomes:
Your application should include 3 easily identifiable and measurable outcomes to show how the project will address the issues above. They should consider:

1. Conservation measures addressing specific issues and root causes (5 points)
What are the identified threats to the species / habitat / ecosystem? What are the impacts of these threats? How are these threats going to be eliminated, alleviated or better managed? How will the habitat / ecosystem be protected, enhanced or restored? How will the project assess the desired outcomes of the project? How will the experience for the local community, the visitors and the habitat be enhanced in the long term?

2. Involvement / engagement of local people (5 points)
In order for a project to be sustainable, it is vital that local people are fully engaged. If local communities and also communities of interest are not involved, they may not feel any need or desire to ensure that the good work that has been started continues into the future. Obviously, if specialist work needs to be carried out, relevant experts may need to be brought in, but wherever possible, projects will involve the local community, giving them ownership of the project and its outcomes, and contributing to their livelihoods during and after the project.

3. Education and communication (5 points)

Education and communication should be aimed at both local communities and visitors. Education should include communicating responsible ways of enjoying the project area, suggestions as to how visitors and locals can reduce threats to the species, habitat or ecosystem, and ways in which they can help protect the biodiversity of the project area. How will you reach the potential visitors to the area effectively and communicate with the local community, and how will this process continue once EOCA’s funding for the project has finished?

The project also needs to:

Be measurable and time orientated (5 points)
The work must be completed and demonstrate a clear and measurable impact between 12 months and 2 years from the project start date.

Provide a legacy (5 points)
The beneficial effects of the project should be sustained beyond the duration of the project. What processes will be set up to ensure the work that has been started will continue to be monitored and managed in the long term? How will the project benefit the livelihoods of the local people or the local economy both during and after the project?

The types of projects which the Association will not support (unless they are linked with local biodiveristy loss / education about conservation etc) are:

  • Installation of alternative energy
  • Community or Social Projects
  • Alternative / sustainable transport
  • Waste management projects (unless linked to detrimental effect on local biodiveristy / education of recreational users of the area). This includes local community recycling / incinerating projects.

The Association will also not support projects:

  • Which are party political or linked to religious groups
  • Covering general overheads, maintenance costs or salary payments
  • Seeking the acquisition of buildings
  • Promoting violent or illegal action

EOCA: 2014 Funding Round – open for applications 1-30 November

Published by Mountainblog on .

eocaThis year, EOCA will be open for funding applications from conservation organsations from 1 – 30 November. To apply for funding of up to €30,000, conservation organisations are asked to complete an application on EOCA website during this period. Prior to this time, please visit the site to download a draft application form to start preparing your submission here.

At the Annual Assembly in Friedrichshafen, EOCA announced that tehy are looking to move to two funding rounds from next year. This will be made possible due to the increase in member companies i(and therefore membership fees) and following the successful introduction of Sustaining Membership for EOCA (an increased engagement by some existing members to enable the growth of the organisation).
EOCA plans to be open for funding applications in July and November in 2014 and future years. Two public votes will be held annually in conjunction with partner organisations to engage consumers in helping to choose which projects EOCA funds. One member-only vote will also take place in the Spring. Last year, EOCA reached 9 million people through one public voting round and 57,000 votes were cast. Moving to 2 funding rounds will enable them to provide more opportunities for conservation organisations to apply for funding, engage more ‘friends’ in selecting projects during the voting and also raise further awareness of EOCA and its members, and, most importantly, fund more projects each year.

EOCA: Two New Members Sign Up For Conservation

Published by Mountainblog on .

eocaTechnical footwear company La Sportiva and alternative bottle specialist Klean Kanteen are working together to support conservation by becoming the most recent companies to join the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA).

Taking the total number of members to 110, both companies are very excited about their new partnerships. Lorenzo Delladio, CEO of La Sportiva said, “We are thrilled about becoming part of EOCA. La Sportiva is extremely keen to take a much more active role in looking after and protecting the environment. Getting involved with EOCA is a very positive and tangible way of doing this.”

Co-owner of Klean Kanteen, Jeff Cresswell added, “Joining EOCA was an easy step for us. Its work sits perfectly with what we as a company have been aiming to do from the outset – enjoying our environment in a sustainable, healthy way – and we are very much looking forward to supporting and being part of the association’s programme!”

EOCA has seen a record number of compaines join the organisarion this year, with 31 new members signing up since January. “We are delighted to welcome both La Sportiva and Klean Kanteen to the association this month, “ said Tanya Bascombe, Joint General Manager of EOCA, “As 100% of membership fees gets put into each year’s conservation projects, the more companies that get involved, the more vital work looking after our magnificent wild spaces we can support”.


To find out more about the Association please go to: www.outdoorconservation.eu


EOCA – OutDoor 2013: Interview with Susan M. Cheyne

Published by Mountainblog on .

At OutDoor Friedrichshafen 2013, we interviewed  Susan M. Cheyne, Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Oxford University.
We talked about a particular project called “Protection and restoration of critical orangutan habitat” promoted by the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA).

Interview: Jessica Ceotto – MountainBlog
Video shooting/editing: Matteo Pavana – Mountainblog

EOCA: Envirotrek Clean Up Project, Interview with Joanne Wissink

Published by Mountainblog on .

Respect the Mountains is an organisation that creates awareness about mountain areas. Many tourists visit the Alps every year, especially during the winter season and the damages are severe. Respect the Mountains is designed to make people aware of the uniqueness and importance of mountain areas and the Envirotrek Clean Up Series is a specific project focused on that aim. Joanne Wissink explains how it has been developed.

Interview: Jessica Ceotto – MountainBlog
Video shooting/editing: Matteo Pavana – Mountainblog

EOCA – OutDoor 2013: Interview with Catherine Savidge and Tanya Bascombe

Published by Mountainblog on .

At OutDoor Friedrichshafen 2013, we interviewed Catherine Savidge and Tanya Bascombe, Joint General Managers of EOCA. With them, we talked about EOCA last success, projects and future aims.

Interview: Andrea Bianchi – MountainBlog
Video shooting/editing: Matteo Menapace – Mountainblog

EOCA: Championing Conservation at Outdoor

Published by Mountainblog on .

championing conservation1 smallThere was an air of celebration at this year’s OutDoor party in Friedrichshafen as the names of the 2013 Conservation Champions and Summit Members of the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) were announced.

Following the announcement to the nearly 5,000 strong crowd that EOCA had not only signed up its 100th member, but also signed up a further 6 companies at the show itself, the prestigious awards were presented to 5 companies who had made the most impact on conservation over the year via their involvement with EOCA.

The Summit Member is a new award to recognise those companies which take it upon themsleves to fund entire conservation projects through EOCA. By making this tremendous commitment, these companies make a significant contribution to conservation work which fits with the ethos of their company, or which is of particular interest to them. The first ever EOCA Summit Members were announced as: Original Buff, S.A. which has chosen to support the ‘Mountain Forests of Catalonia’ project, in addition to 6 other projects it has funded over the last 2 years. The North Face is funding a winter conservation programme implemented by Respect the Mountains designed to educate and inspire up to 50 young people as well as enable them to take part in hands on conservation work.

As in previous years, the EOCA Conservation Champion award is about members getting involved, taking the initiative and making a difference for conservation! Companies receiving this recognition had ‘gone the extra mile’ to support conservation through the association. There were three winners this year.

The first was Polartec – for raising awareness within the industry via messages on 4,800 tshirts at OutDoor, the Saturday night party and climbing festivals. This in turn has led to new members joining EOCA and therefore more money to spend on conservation. KEEN footwear has raised additional funds for EOCA at all of the recent trade shows in their own cool, relaxed fashion. Icecream, beer, entertainment and footwear sales have proved very popular and resulted in an extra €10,000 being put directly into conservation projects in the last 2 years. Finally Bergans of Norway has taken the initiative at each trade show to raise additional funds for the association and enhance conservation awareness. From hosting happy hours, holding competitions, and providing prizes, this enthusiastic member has also provided additional support to EOCA funded projects and nominated their sponsoerd polar explorer Rune Gjeldnes as an EOCA ambassador.

“All these members have gone above and beyond simply paying a membership fee to EOCA,” explained Tanya Bascombe, Joint General Manager of EOCA,”and we are thrilled to be able to honour them in this way. There are so many ways to support and protect our wild spaces and get involved in spreading the message about conservation, and these awards demonstrate how our members are embracing that opportunity”.

The six newest members of EOCA who signed up at the show were Goal Zero, LiteXpress, Montane, Qualiance International, Craghoppers and The Original Mountain Marathon – taking the current number of EOCA members to 108!



Snow leopards, Orangutans and Mountain Bikers: EOCA conserves wild places for the Outdoor industry

Published by Mountainblog on .

orangotangoDuring the first day of the OutDoor trade fair in Friedrichshafen, the European OutDoor Conservation Association (EOCA) will be unveiling the 8 conservation projects it will be funding this year.  In total, €181,000 is being committed to conservation by the association this year, ensuring that vital conservation work can take place around the world.

EOCA, which will also be celebrating signing up its 100th member at the fair, puts 100% of all the membership fees it receives from its members into conservation work, together with 100% of all monies it raises at OutDoor and other shows.  Each project that EOCA funds can apply for up to €30,000 for their work.

This year, 57,000 votes cast by consumers chose 3 projects to be funded by EOCA.  These projects will carry out work to conserve snow leopards in the Indian Himalaya, orangutans in Borneo and high value landscapes in Romania.  Following this, members of EOCA voted to support projects to conserve bears in Spain, snow leopards in the Altai Republic and woodlands in Mali.  Two members of EOCA have also decided to fund projects entirely themselves this year.  Original Buff, S.A. will be enabling 9 weeks of volunteer work in the Catalonian mountain forests to restore habitats, and improve access to walkers. The North Face will be enabling Respect the Mountains to run an EPIC – Exploring (& Education about) Peaks, Inspiring Conservation- day for 50 young people in the Massif Central in France.  More details on all of these projects can be seen below.


Catherine Savidge, Joint General Manager of EOCA said ‘Through the generosity of our forward-thinking members, all from the European outdoor industry, we are able to provide substantial support for conservation work around the world. All of the projects EOCA supports will benefit threatened species and habitats, and all have a clear link to the outdoor enthusiast, enhancing their outdoor experience or reducing their impact on the environment.


2013 EOCA Funded Projects:


Protection and Restoration of Critical Orangutan Habitat, Southern Borneo (Nominating member Fusion Clothing. Chosen in conjunction with National Geographic Germany)

The Sabangau tropical peat-swamp forest is one of the most important rainforests found on Borneo, due to its carbon storage ability and high levels of biodiversity.   It is under massive threat from conversion, swamp drainage, fires, illegal logging and wildlife hunting. This project will restore areas of peat swamp, replant burnt forest areas, and enable community patrol teams to protect the forest and its orangutans from the threats they face.


Restoring High Altitude Habitats for the Snow Leopard, Indian Himalaya (Nominating member Dynafit. Chosen in conjunction with readers of Alpin Magazin)

Snow leopards are one of the most endangered big cats, with only about 3500-7000 left in the world.  The Upper Spiti Valley’s underdeveloped alpine habitat has been identified as one of the most important snow leopard habitats in India. The goal of this project is to help communities safeguard the delicate Upper Spiti ecosystem and its wildlife while continuing their traditional way of life. This will be achieved by keeping 25 square km of steppe grasslands free from livestock to allow snow leopard prey to recover, an insurance scheme requiring farmers to safeguard the snow leopards and compensating them for livestock lost to leopard predation, and conservation education for local school children.


Discover Târnava Mare, Romania (Nominating member Vaude. Chosen in conjunction with The Great Outdoors, NORR Magazin, Bike & Trekking, Sport Partner, and LIFT)

The Târnava Mare landscape is one of the last great high-nature landscapes surviving in lowland Europe. Its many valuable habitats have evolved in association with traditional low-impact agriculture, but the region is under great pressure from poverty and abandonment due to lack of economic prospects in the area. ADEPT will work with locals to build 15km of mountain bike trail, linking 3 villages and involving 70 green tourism providers, 5 schools and 1000 small-scale farming families. The project will develop and promote a tourism strategy for the area so that results are sustainable in the future, enabling people to stay in the area and to maintain the landscape.


Snow Leopard Conservation in the Altai Mountains (Nominating member Vaude. Chosen by EOCA Members)

Snow leopards are listed by the IUCN as ‘Endangered’. Threats they face in the Altai area are poaching, subsistence pastoralism and retribution killings, as well as loss of prey base. Through this project, Biosphere

Expeditions aims to make them more valuable to the local communities alive rather than dead, by engaging, training and paying locals to be involved in their conservation together with scientists and volunteers, and by developing sustainable tourism in the area.


Fruits for Bears, Northern Spain (Nominating member Patagonia. Chosen by EOCA members)

The Cantabrian mountains in Northern Spain do not produce enough food to support a healthy population of bears, meaning that they move into urban areas looking for food.  This project will improve bear habitat by planting fruit trees, including cherry, chestnut and rowan, and by installing 7.5 million bees in hives as pollinators, to ensure there is enough fruit to support the bears.  The honey produced will help raise awareness of bear conservation with the many outdoor enthusiasts and locals who hike, bike and climb in the area.


Regreening Ségou, Mali (Nominating member Ferrino. Chosen by EOCA members)

Ségou is part of Mali’s arid Sahelian zone which has suffered dramatic deforestation due to agricultural land clearance, fuelwood use and fodder collection. This has led to soil erosion and desertification. Nearly 42,000 people in 70 villages will benefit from this project, which will establish 11 new tree nurseries, and plant over 320,000 trees to protect the environment and provide food, training and income to the local community. It will also provide an attractive area for travellers to visit and experience.


Mountain Forests Catalonia (Nominating member Petzl Foundation. Funded entirely by Original Buff, S.A.)

This forest management project will enable the outdoor user to get involved in conservation during 9 individual weeks of voluntary work, involving forest path restoration, forest thinning, habitat restoration, and bio-engineering work to mitigate erosion. This work will, amongst other things, enhance the habitat for the Capercaille and improve access to outdoor users by restoring and maintaining forest tracks.


EPIC – Exploring (& Education About) Peaks, Inspiring Conservation (Funded entirely by The North Face)

Funding from The North Face Explore Fund via EOCA will enable Respect the Mountains to develop and implement an EPIC day for 50 young people in Le Grand Massif area of France. During the day, the young people will be educated in respecting mountains, engaged in hands-on conservation work, inspired by Ambassadors and athletes from both organisations, and will have the opportunity to try a winter mountain activity


To find out more about the Association please go to: www.outdoorconservation.eu

EOCA scores its first Century!

Published by Mountainblog on .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is delighted to announce that it has now signed up 100 member and partners.   This milestone, achieved in just 7 years, will be celebrated at this year’s OutDoor show in Friedrichshafen.

Since 1st January 2013, 19 new members have joined the association, together with 3 trade association partners and 1 new media partner, swelling the membership by a massive 29% in just 6 months – and taking the total number of members to 102.

One of the most recent companies to sign up to EOCA to help achieve this target is Arc’teryx Equipment Inc. Joanne Mayzes, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Arc’teryx said “Arc’teryx is a company from North Vancouver Canada, with a vast playground of mountain wilderness just minutes away from our head office. Joining EOCA aligns with our mandate of helping to protect the environments in which we play. We support our global community of climbers, hikers and skiers who play in the outdoors by protecting wild areas across the globe. We see the EOCA as an effective, successful partner in helping to protect these environments.”

Tomas Torstensson, co-founder of Kozi Kidz who have also signed up added, “we are passionate about giving children the opportunity to enjoy, understand and connect with nature and the outdoors.  Joining EOCA was a natural step for us to take.

Catherine Savidge, Joint General Manager of EOCA said ‘reaching 100 members so soon is a clear demonstration that the European outdoor industry is passionate about caring for the great outdoors and the wild spaces we all enjoy exploring.  It is also a reflection of the fact that outdoor companies value the way in which EOCA can harness the collective contributions of many members, and direct these funds to the most worthwhile, relevant and effective conservation projects worldwide.’

The nine companies who signed up most recently to reach the 100 target, will be presented with their membership certificates on the main stage at the OutDoor party in Friedrichshafen on 13th July in front of a crowd of thousands from the outdoor industry. They are: Arc’teryx, RAB, Trek and Mountain Ltd, HEY-Sport, Scandinavian Outdoor Group, Scandinavian Outdoor Consulting, Mountains4U, Unifi and Kozikidz.  All of EOCA’s members and partners are listed on its website at www.outdoorconservation.eu