The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is inviting proposals on the plastic clean up projects; on beaches, rivers, lakes, mountains and trails – alongside and other conservation projects.
EOCA defines an outdoor enthusiast as anyone who visits non-urban ‘wild’ environments, be it to walk, hike, explore, climb, canoe, swim, scuba dive, bird watch etc.
The two main areas that must be addressed in application are:
- Protect, enhance or restore threatened key species, habitats or broader ecosystems in ‘wild’ areas
- 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!
- Consider the needs of the outdoor enthusiast
- As highlighted above, the project must enhance the experience of outdoor enthusiasts as well as protecting the identified species, habitat or broader ecosystem from any negative impact by their visits. 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 / rock faces / waterways and /or associated information / education keeps visitors from damaging fragile habitats or disturbing vulnerable wildlife.
*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?
- EOCA will only fund to a maximum of €30,000, but they will fund projects of a higher budget if there are other sources of funding.
- The other sources of funding and the amounts must be detailed in the application.
Application should include 3 easily identifiable and measurable outcomes to show how the project will address the issues above. They should consider:
- Conservation measures addressing specific issues and root causes
- Involvement / engagement of local people
- Education and communication
- Be measurable and time orientated
- Provide a legacy
EOCA’s Criteria for Funding
Link to the outdoor enthusiast
- As EOCA is raising money from the European outdoor industry, they feel that conservation and restoration work should go hand-in-hand with responsible use of the ‘wild’ areas they all enjoy. Projects MUST therefore demonstrate a specific link to the outdoor enthusiast (such as hikers, bikers, kayakers, climbers, bird watchers or explorers etc).
- 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, they hope that, not only will this give the projects they 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.
- Non profit organisations can apply to EOCA for grants to implement a conservation project in any country around the world except North America (US and Canada – where the Conservation Alliance provides funding for conservation efforts from the North American outdoor industry).
- Project applications are shortlisted according to their ability to meet EOCA’s criteria for funding. Using this criteria, the shortlist of projects is drawn up at the sole discretion of the General Managers, the Scientific Advisors and EOCA’s Board of Directors. The General Managers will seek further advice from EOCA’s Scientific Advisors if required. Due to the many diverse nationalities making up the whole panel, all applications must please be written in English.
- The projects to successfully win funding will be chosen from the shortlist via a public vote and an EOCA’s members vote. The public vote is held in conjunction with a range of national magazines throughout Europe.
- Members of EOCA can nominate up to three projects (from different, or the same organisations) each year.
- Project applications must:
- protect a threatened species or habitat;
- have a link to the outdoor enthusiast; and
- involve hands-on practical conservation work.
How to Apply
Interested applicants can apply online via given website.
For more information, please visit EOCA.