The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is celebrating being able to support more projects than ever before during its 2017 Spring Funding Round. Three projects were chosen during a public vote which reached 60.4 million people worldwide, and a further three were chosen by EOCA members themselves. These are all to be funded from membership fees and fundraising monies raised from the European outdoor Industry. In addition, three further projects are being funded by three individual EOCA members.
Flow Country credit Eleanor B (RSPB-images)
During March, following a four month process of accepting, accessing and approving applications, EOCA held its annual spring public vote. A shortlist of projects was showcased by The Great Outdoors (UK), Alpin (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), and Norr Magazin (Germany), as well as on the English and German EOCA websites. Readers of the magazines, outdoor enthusiasts and supporters of the projects were all invited to vote for their favourite project in three categories and the project with the most votes in each category is now being funded. A private vote for members only was then held, with a further three projects being chosen for funding. In addition to the 6 projects funded by EOCA, members POMOCA , KEEN, and Osprey Europe have also each chosen a specific conservation project to fund entirely themselves and ORTLIEB decided to make a donation towards a winning river conservation project in Germany which they were supportive of. Original Buff, S.A. had already committed to support a whole project themselves during 2017. The 9 projects are all in different countries, 5 being in Europe, and tackle issues as wide ranging as metal waste left in mountains, elephants being poached, rubbish in rivers, overuse of forest resources, the captive elephant tourist trade and restoration of peatland.
Watching Elephants - Peter Yuen Photography
EOCA member Outdoor Blogger Network (OBN) monitored the public vote this year for the first time and their data recorded an Opportunity To See (OTS) figure of over 60.4 million people! News of the vote appeared on social media, blogs, online media and in print media. It featured in various European countries as well as North America, Bangladesh and a number of South American countries. Projects got involved in radio interviews as well as giving talks at universities and providing information for national newspapers. The reach of the vote far exceeded expectations, playing a very valuable role in raising awareness of the conservation issues and work being faced by the organisations applying to EOCA for funding.
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Catherine Savidge, Joint General Manager at EOCA said “we are thrilled this year to be able to support more conservation projects than ever before. All of the projects in the shortlist deserve and need funding and so it is a pleasure to be able to facilitate the funding of these 9 projects, thanks to the generosity of EOCA members. We also trust that the huge reach of the public vote benefits all of the other projects on the shortlist and perhaps brings them the extra recognition and support that they need.”
Please click HERE for more details on all of the projects