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 (, 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



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



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


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


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


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…)

Single – Use Plastic Waste Reduction Success
at OutDoor by ISPO

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The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) was delighted to see the effects of the launch of its Plastic Pledge during the recent 4 day OutDoor by ISPO trade show in Munich and the reduction in single-use plastic waste it led to. (more…)

EOCA plastic pledge at OutDoor by ISPO.
Interview with Tanya Bascombe

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In an exciting step forwards in the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)’s new focus on tackling plastic pollution, the association has asked exhibitors at this summer’s OutDoor by ISPO to sign up to a pledge to reduce the amount of single-use plastic on their stands at the show. Watch the video interview with Tanya Bascombe.


Eight New Members and Partners for EOCA

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The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is delighted to welcome 7 new members and a trade partner, all committed to conserving the great outdoors. All 8 have signed up to the association since the ISPO show in February, a number specifically joining to support the work of EOCA in tackling Plastic Pollution.

The new members to sign up are Sunday Afternoons – creating hats for every outdoor adventure; World of Camping – one of the largest independent online retailers for the camping, caravan and motorhome fraternity; Regatta– making and selling items to enable everyone to get outdoors and have adventures. Within a 24 hours period, Elements – an agent and distributor for a number of responsible outdoor brands in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France; Kahtoolamakers of gear for use with flexible footwear, including MICROspikes®, NANOspikes®, hiking crampons, and innovative running and hiking gaiters; icebreaker– Provider of natural performance alternatives to plastic-based apparel all signed up. E9 – manufacturers of climbing clothing and Accessories, got in touch about signing the EOCA Plastic Pledge and then decided to also become full members of EOCA. In addition, Afydad, the Spanish Sport Association has signed up as a trade partner, thus committing to raise awareness of and commitment to EOCA and conservation of outdoor environments. (more…)

EOCA Conservation Funding Reaches €3 million

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volunteers cleanup the holy lake Gurudongmar


This March thousands of outdoor enthusiasts joined European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), and it’s members, to participate in it’s annual spring public vote. As a result of the public vote and also the members private vote, six new conservation projects have been selected for EOCA to support. With almost €150,000 being pledged to these six projects, this also marks a new milestone in the history of EOCA – the funding of €3 million in vital conservation projects around the world!

During this spring vote, 43,637 votes were cast resulting in the selection of three new conservation projects for EOCA, and it’s members to support. In addition, EOCA’s members voted to select a further three projects. For this funding round only, all six of these projects will tackle EOCA’s ambitious new focus targeting plastic pollution – to collectively clear 3000km of habitat, trail and beach of plastic waste and pollution over the next two years.  That is the distance from the Mediterranean coast to Lapland! EOCA is making a great start to this target by supporting almost 1000km through these six projects.

As well as addressing current plastic issues and their threat to a habitat, landscape or species, each of these six projects will also have a link to outdoor enthusiasts, work with and benefit local communities, involve an educational element, and leave a legacy. All funds are raised by membership fees and fundraising monies coming from the European Outdoor Industry. EOCA holds two funding rounds per year, with the second round taking place in autumn. (more…)

EOCA leads the industry with plastic pledge
for trade shows

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In an exciting step forwards in the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)’s new focus on tackling plastic pollution, the association has asked exhibitors at this summer’s OutDoor by ISPO trade show to sign up to a pledge to reduce the amount of single-use plastic on their stands at the show. The association is delighted with the reaction, with 26 exhibitors having already signed up to the Plastic Pledge.

Following the launch in January of the association’s Plastic Free: Mountain to Sea campaign, EOCA is working with its members in the European outdoor industry to clean up plastic waste already causing harm in habitats from the summits of mountains to the shores of the seas, whilst also reducing their use of everyday single-use plastics.  This will be in conjunction with educating and inspiring outdoor enthusiasts to get involved to combat the issues.

EOCA launched its Plastic Pledge three weeks ago, to reduce single-use plastic waste at trade shows – specifically starting with OutDoor by ISPO at the end of June. The pledge includes the commitment to provide a source of drinking water on stands to refill reusable bottles and cups, encouraging employees to bring their own reusable mugs or bottles from home to use during and after the show, and not providing any single-use plastic bottled drinks during the show. EOCA is encouraging as many of its members to sign up to the pledge as a first step to making trade shows more sustainable. Non-members of EOCA are also invited to sign the pledge, to help reduce plastic waste production. (more…)