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European Outdoor Conservation Association

Autumn 2020 EOCA Newsletter

EOCA Friends' Newsletter October 2020

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Our public online vote starts today and runs until Thursday 22nd October. See more below (article number 1).

Welcome to our Autumn Newsletter!

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The EOCA team has been discovering all sorts of hidden gems locally to their homes over the last 6 months. We hope you have all had an enjoyable summer and managed to get outside to explore the landscapes close by!  

It has been a really busy time since our last newsletter.  We are delighted to be able to share with you the results of our first ever online fundraiser, and tell you about our latest online public vote, which opens today.

We hope you enjoy this newsletter and don't forget to vote!

Tanya, Catherine, Cat and Sharon.

1. Online public vote starts today!

Volunteers Cleaning up a holy lake at 17100ft. EOCA 2019 funded project by Integrated Mountain Initiative.

We are excited to announce, that our online vote to help choose some of the conservation projects we will be supporting over the next 12-24 months, started this morning! 

EOCA received a record 182 applications for funding this summer - demonstrating the real need for conservation efforts around the world.  We are thankful to all of our members who enable the European outdoor industry to give back to the great outdoors which we all value so much. After a summer of assessing all of the applications against our funding criteria, and then consulting with our Scientific Advisers, we now have a shortlist of projects, all of which we would love to fund.  Unfortunately, we do not have the funds for all of them and so we need your help in selecting the ones we do fund - and in raising much needed attention for all of these worthwhile projects.

In line with our Plastic Free: Mountain to Sea focus, and our target of clearing 3000km of coast, trail and mountain from rubbish, each of the conservation projects looking for your vote deals with an aspect of single-use plastic, the pollution it causes, and its resulting threat to wildlife, as well as awareness raising and education on the specific issues.  As you can probably imagine, our target of cleaning up 3000km of habitat has been made even more challenging this year as a result of the global pandemic, and many of our projects have had to delay, reduce or change their actions, and be quite inventive in their ability to tackle clean-ups.  However, we are pleased to say that we are on our way to have cleared nearly 2000km already, so are progressing really well towards the target! 

The projects are split into three categories (marine, land and freshwater), and you can vote once per electronic device in each category. Please encourage your colleagues, customers, friends and family to get involved and take part as well. Winners will be announced in late October.  VOTE HERE Voting closes on 22nd October at 12 Noon BST / 13.00 CEST.

2. Summer fundraiser


With the Outdoor by ISPO trade show in Munich cancelled, due to COVID-19 in July, and much needed funds for conservation projects still to be raised, EOCA took its conservation fundraiser online for the first time. 

A number of companies (Adventure.ieLa Sportiva, Pajak, Stanley - a Brand of PMI and Vaude) hosted sales on their own websites or e-commerce channels and generously donated a percentage to EOCA.  Cumulus, KEEN, Lowe Alpine, Nikwax, Osprey, Proagencies, Ternua, and Trangoworld donated gear to Outdoor Gear For Good (OGFG), a community interest company, which sold it on their behalf, contributing 100% of its sales to EOCA.  And finally, Gregory Packs held a sample sale and donated the proceeds to EOCA. 

In total, a massive €16,400 was raised, all of which will help support vital conservation projects.  More information HERE.

3. Green Friday Online Fundraiser

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Following the success of the first EOCA online fundraiser (above), we are delighted to announce that EOCA and its members will be continuing to offer you opportunities to get your favourite outdoor gear AND make a difference with future online fundraisers! 

Member companies are continuing to generously donate to OGFG.  You can purchase items from their eBay store HERE, with 100% of the sale of their donations being spent on conservation by EOCA.  In addition, we are planning our next Online Conservation Event over the Black Friday weekend (27th November). More details coming soon…..

Lets turn the black weekend green, to raise more funds for conservation!

4. Thank you to our Sustaining Members

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You may not be aware of this, but there is a select group of leading companies which have been covering the core costs of EOCA for the last 6 years, on behalf of the entire industry.  The effect of this has meant that 100% of all membership fees donated by our valued members have been put directly into the vital conservation projects we support, and EOCA has grown hugely as an organisation in what it can achieve. 

This is just a small flavour of the multiplier effect these leading companies have helped us achieve. Since 2015, EOCA has had a:

  • 22% increase in the number of members;
  • 78% increase in the amount of money it has been able to put into conservation projects around the world;
  • 111% increase in the number of projects the association has been able to support.

We have prepared a short film as a thank you to the EOG, KEEN, Pertex, ISPO and Outdoor by ISPO, Nikwax, The North Face, Patagonia and WeHaveThePower Take a look HERE

5. Project update: EOCA Fundraiser, Ocean Initiatives, Europe

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EOCA's fundraiser project has been very busy over this last year! Funds raised by EOCA's members, and the general public, have contributed to the removal of plastic and other waste harmful to wildlife and habitats, from 2,760km of beaches, lakes and rivers during 2019! These dedicated clean-up actions engaged 90,000 participants in 52 countries! Something we can all be proud of being a part of during these difficult times!

This project is nominated by Klean Kanteen, and carried out by Surfrider Foundation Europe. Surfrider Foundation Europe has placed the problem of marine litter at the heart of its mission; since 1990 it has been organising clean-ups, raising awareness and educating the public on the issue of marine litter.

For more information on this project click HERE

To donate to this vital project click HERE

6. Project update: Saving the Marsican brown bear

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The Marsican bear population, located in the Central Apennines, is critically endangered with only 50-60 individual bears remaining.  Salviamo l’Orso is an association dedicated to protecting these beautiful creatures and the habitat they live in.  Nominated by Ferrino, the EOCA funded project is now complete.  It enabled Salviamo l’Orso to prune 719 fruit trees, increasing the availability of food sources for the bears and remove a staggering 20,246m of barbed wire to allow easier, and safer, movement of the bears and other wildlife. Read more about the project and the improvements that have been made to safeguard the future of the Marsican brown bear.

7. Project update: A plastic free Ria Formosa, Portugal

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Nominated by Paramo, this funded project with Associação para o Estudo e Conservação dos Oceanos (AECO) has achieved outstanding results in just 10 months.  Ria Formosa is an 18,000 hectare lagoon system made up of sandflats, mudflats and saltmarshes.  The area is an important habitat for wildlife, particularly birds, indigenous plants, seahorses and fish.  During 40 clean-up events, between 7 and 12 tonnes of waste was cleared.  A number of dives were also carried out to clear an additional 17.6m³ of marine litter.

Find out more about this project, what they have achieved, and the ongoing conservation and education work.

AECO have also produced a number of short films about the project, to educate people about waste issues and alternatives to plastic.  Find them here.

Get others involved too!!

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Don’t forget, the public vote is now open and you can vote for your 3 favourite projects!  How about sending the link to all the colleagues in your office or friends and family and encourage them to get involved too?