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.
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.