Following a tense battle between the projects on the shortlist, it came down to the final member vote to decide which projects were going to be supported by the EOG Association for Conservation in 2010!
The shortlist of 12, which had been narrowed down from an initial 46 nominated projects, was distributed to all Association members at the beginning of March who chose what they felt were the most worthwhile projects. Added to this was one final project which had been chosen by over 18,000 outdoor consumers in the UK. 6 projects were presented to outdoor consumers on the website of the UK’s most widely distributed outdoor magazine, Trail, and readers were encouraged to vote for their favourite project – which resulted in an incredible 18,652 votes!
The projects which will be supported by the Association this year are:
World Pheasant Association – School Extensions in return for Forest Protection (Nepal) – Pipar is a rhododendron forest in the Annapurna Conservation area and home to 5 out of 6 of Nepal’s Himalayan pheasant species. Since 1983, the WPA has worked closely with the village of Karuwa, helping to resource teaching facilities, staff and equipment in return for the villagers’ using the forest only as they have always done, for their own needs, and not for commercial gain. The pheasant population has since remained stable and is a novel way of supporting educational needs for the locals whilst at the same time promoting the conservation of an important area for biodiversity. This project will build extensions to 2 local schools and monitor biodiversity in Pipar and adjacent forests. Nominated by Berghaus.
World Land Trust – Elephant Corridors (India) – There are 88 corridors throughout India that are critical to the long term survival of the Asian Elephant. These are unprotected lands between fragments of protected areas and increasingly human dominated, resulting in high levels of human-wildlife conflict (loss of crops, buildings and even life). Securing corridors involves sensitising local communities to the option of voluntarily relocating outside the conflict zones to safer areas, with their own land and improved housing. It also leaves areas to regenerate naturally, and provides continued refuge for elephants together with a huge variety of wildlife including tigers. This project will prioritise seven corridors in Corbett National Park and introduce the concept of establishing elephant corridors to local communities and key conservationists. An individual donor has committed to match funds raised, thus doubling the Association’s grant award to EUR€60,000. Nominated by Nikwax.
Global Nature Fund – Mangrove Swamp Restoration (Sri Lanka) – Mangrove forests are unique habitats found in brackish estuaries and coastal areas, their habitat shared by vast numbers of salt and freshwater creatures as well as sea and land organisms, with extensive root systems protecting against tidal waves and erosion. Over the past 100 years, about 50% of the world’s mangrove forests have been irrecoverably lost. The Madampa Lake Wildlife Sanctuary is facing threats due to uncontrolled activities such as land reclamation, dumping of household/ industrial waste and logging of mangrove trees for timber/firewood. The aim is to increase local understanding of the importance of mangrove ecosystems through long term education, community mangrove conservation programmes and planting over 10,000 seedlings to reforest 6 acres of a destroyed mangrove area. Nominated by Messe Freidrichshafen
Breathe Foundation – Rainforest Restoration (Brazil) – The Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil is less than 7% of its original size and has been identified by UNESCO as one of the five highest biodiversity hotspots in the world. Farming, illegal logging and poaching is pushing this area towards ecological collapse. The main focus here is guardianship, reforestation and education. The 10 year goal is to reclaim 700,000m2 of forest, creating an intact ecological corridor which will then be protected via Brazilian Environmental law. The main aims are building an education, management and meeting centre adjacent to the forest, acquiring of identified priority land positions to create ecological bridges and farmer allotment allocation, planting the initial area with seedlings, and identifying the next priority land purchase. Nominated by Messe München.
The project which was voted for by readers of Trail magazine (18,652 votes in total!) was:
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust – Pembrokeshire Bumblebee Path Project (UK) – The UK’s bumblebees have suffered huge declines due to widespread habitat loss. Bumblebees are major pollinators of a majority of wildflowers and many agricultural crops. If they continue to disappear, these plants will set less seed, resulting in sweeping changes to the countryside with catastrophic knock-on effects for other wildlife. The trust aims to conserve them by returning wildflowers to the countryside, striving to raise awareness, protect important bumblebee sites and engage with landowners to create flower-rich habitats. This project will create wildflower-rich habitat to support rare bumblebees along a new 10km section of path in the Pembrokeshire National Park. By connecting key sites, this attractive route through spectacular scenery will help prevent the national extinction of the shrill carder bee.
The official presentation of each of the projects and the progress to date will take place in Room Berlin at 11.00hrs on Friday 16th July 2010 during OutDoor in Friedrichshafen.