EOCA and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development officially came into force.  In order to achieve these goals, it is our duty, as global citizens, to play our part and look after the world we live in.  

Set up in 2006 as a way of bringing the European outdoor industry together to give back to the wild places it depends on for its livelihood, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) has to date raised and spent €2.3 million of 99 conservation projects around the world.  With nearly 140 members, and a team of scientific advisors who are all experts in different fields of conservation, EOCA strives to ensure the money is has raised from the industry goes to the most vital conservation projects globally, where the funds will make the most difference to habitats and communities on the ground.

EOCA’s vision: The outdoor sector and the millions of people who enjoy the great outdoors are active champions for the conservation of nature and wild places*

* EOCA defines 'wild places' 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, lake and ocean areas.

The projects that EOCA funds must:
– protect, enhance or restore threatened key species, habitats or broader ecosystems in wild areas
– consider the needs of / have a link to the outdoor enthusiast
– address specific issues and root causes
– involve / engage local people
– educate and communicate with local communities and visitors
– be measurable and time orientated and provide a legacy

EOCA’s work has already touched on many of the SDGs. Briefly:
1. No Poverty
– providing alternative, sustainable livelihoods
3. Good Health and Well Being
– clean cook stoves, alternative livelihoods, opportunities for involvement, cleaner atmosphere and surroundings, better quality of water
4. Quality Education
– training and education opportunities for communities and volunteers
5. Gender Equality
– projects to relieve the burden of work on women, educate and empower women
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
– through improvement / protection of ecosystem services, rubbish removal, education and alternative ways of operating
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
– training and job opportunities, alternative livelihood opportunities
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
– sustainable use of natural resources
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
– sustainable use of natural resources
13. Climate Action
– reforestation, restoration of peatlands and wetlands, reduced deforestation, reduced wildfire
14. Life Below Water
– reduced marine litter, protection of coastlines, sustainable fishing, protection of seabeds, coral and wildlife within it, reduction of pollutants entering the water
15. Life on Land
– reforestation, increased biodiversity, protection and restoration of habitat
17. Partnerships for the Goals
– working with non profit organisations on the ground, in conjunction with the local community

Of these 17 goals, three goals to which EOCA can link most closely and are of particular relevance to its conservation work are
13 – Climate Action
14 – Life Below Water
15 – Life on Land

As an organisation raising money to look after the health and well-being of the planet, EOCA is committed to playing its part in achieving these global goals. 


Highlighted below are the 3 SDGs to which EOCA is most attuned, and the targets of most relevance.   For each, the contribution EOCA has made to date for each target is listed.  Future focus is also considered and discussed.

This includes:
Target 13.3  Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
EOCA Contribution:
– education about and training to reduce / minimise wildfires
– education and training to reduce deforestation, collect seeds, nurture seedlings and reforest
– projects to specifically tackle climate change by restoring of forests wetlands, peatlands, sustainable use / management of woodland and forest
– reduction of use of plastics leading to reduction in use of harmful fossil fuels

Target 14.1 By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
EOCA Contribution:
– remove land based litter to stop it ending up in streams / lakes / the sea
– education about plastics / litter
– work with farmers to reduce pesticides, fertilisers
– work with fishermen / local community to reduce litter
– work with fishermen / local community to reduce dumping of waste oil and other toxic liquids into rivers

Target 14.2 By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
EOCA Contribution:
– plastic / litter removal
– replanting of mangroves to improve nesting grounds  / nursery grounds for fish, shade and shelter for fish and communities, protect coastlines from high tides and flooding
– work with fishermen and divers to reduce destruction of reefs / sea flora due to inappropriate fishing techniques / diving behaviour
– remove invasive species to improve water flow / quality of water
– coral protection / restoration
– community agreed no fish zones / protected areas
– promotion / encouragement of alternative livelihoods to give value to local marine wildlife (sharks, whales, turtles)
– sustainable tourism as a way of giving value to the area

Target 14.4 By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
EOCA Contribution:
– work with fishermen and divers to reduce destruction of reefs / sea flora due to inappropriate fishing techniques / diving behaviour
– sustainable tourism as a way of giving value to the wildlife under the water
– coral protection
– support community agreed no fish zones / protected areas

Target 14.5  By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
EOCA Contribution:
– support community agreed no fish zones / protected areas

Target 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
EOCA Contribution: 
– wet meadowland restoration
– peatland and peat bog restoration
– reforestation, reduction in deforestation
– renovation of trails to protect fragile ecosystems
– protection / restoration of habitat and biodiversity
– protection and restoration of riverine systems
– removal and reduction in litter / debris
– removal of invasive species
– reduction of pesticides
– sustainable farming, creation of wildlife corridors

Target 15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
EOCA Contribution:
– removing monoculture
– replanting native forests / mangroves
– planting trees / food for specific wildlife
– planting community woodlots to protect old growth forest
– buying old growth forest to protect in perpetuity
– removing invasive species
– working / training  to promote / create alternative livelihoods
– fuel-efficient cook stoves
– planting wildlife corridors to encourage forest fragments to join
– sustainable tourism as a way of giving value to the forest

Target 15.4 By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development
EOCA Contribution:
– footpath repair or re-routing to stop damage to fragile ecosystems and protect mountain lakes and streams from falling debris
– removal of debris, litter and waste
– planting of native flora
– sustainable tourism as a way of giving value to wild spaces

Target 15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
EOCA Contribution:
– footpath repair or re-routing to stop damage to fragile ecosystems as well as protection of mountain lakes and streams from silting from falling debris / eroded matter
– removal of debris, litter and waste
– planting of native flora
– removal of monoculture
– restoration of peatbog, wet meadowland, peatland, forest, lakes, rivers and woodland
– prevention of fires, training to reduce / reduce the impact of wild fires
– removal of invasive species
– introduction of and training for alternative livelihoods
– working with farmers to encourage wildlife corridors on their land and reduction of pesticides / fertilisers
– education of communities and visitors as to behaviour when near wildlife, how to cause least damage
– enriching certain habitats with flora to encourage a return / stabilisation of populations of specific wildlife / protection of soil / creation of understory
– sustainable wildlife tourism as a way of giving value to the fauna in the area
– sustainable development within communities to encourage tourism such as activities with guiding, homestays, campsites etc
– create optimum conditions and habitats for specific threatened species including nesting boxes, fruit trees and other food provision, forest cover, clean water sources
– work with communities to develop strategies to live alongside predators
– work alongside communities to give more value to the particular species alive than dead
– reduction of pesticides and fertilisers

Target 15.7 Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products
EOCA Contribution:
– education of local communities
– work with local communities to enforce no poaching
– alternative livelihoods through giving wildlife a value
– training of rangers / guides
– removal of snares / traps
– sustainable tourism to give value to the particular wildlife
– use of human presence to deter poachers
– use of technology to help in the surveillance and protection of wildlife

Target 15.8 By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species
EOCA Contribution:
– appropriate removal / eradication of invasive species
– planting of native species or optimising conditions for native wildlife