Release date: 26 February 2021

Thanks to the generous ongoing support of members throughout 2020, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is delighted to be in a position to fund more conservation projects in 2021 than ever before. The association’s annual spring Vote for Conservation will run over the next two weeks, and everyone is invited to help choose some of the projects to be funded. In line with the association’s new two year focus Wild for Nature: EOCA’s Landscape Legacy Project, all projects on the shortlist plan to tackle the issues of biodiversity loss and the climate emergency.

Despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, EOCA members stepped up their support for conservation during 2020, by continuing their EOCA membership and getting involved in three highly successful fundraising events. As a result, the association is delighted to be in a position to fund more projects than ever before this year. The pandemic also had an impact on funding sources for conservation not-for-profits in 2020 and as a result, EOCA received over 250 applications for this round. The team, supported by a panel of scientific advisers, have spent the last few months carefully assessing all applications and have created a shortlist of exceptional projects, all of which they would be happy to fund. The projects to receive funding will now be selected via a public vote and a private vote for members-only.

Following the success of EOCA’s two year focus Plastic Free: Mountain to Sea, which saw, amongst other actions, over 4000km of habitat cleared of plastic pollution, the association is now launching its next two year focus Wild for Nature: EOCA’s Landscape Legacy with this funding round. The focus will see projects funded that address the double threats of biodiversity loss and the climate emergency, in various wild landscapes around the world. By being wildly enthusiastic about nature, the outdoor industry can protect wild habitats for nature.


For the public vote, projects have been divided into three categories: ‘Forest’, ‘Water’ and ‘Wild Places’, depending on the habitats that the projects will be working in. Everyone is invited to select their favourite project in each category. By also encouraging colleagues, suppliers, customers, fans, family, friends and followers to take part, all the projects involved will benefit through raised awareness of their vital work on an international platform. The project with the most votes in each category will receive the funding they have requested from EOCA. Following the public vote, members of EOCA will select more of the projects from the shortlist to receive funding.

Catherine Savidge, Joint General Manager commented, “We are very excited about this round of projects, addressing real and urgent threats to wildlife, habitats and communities in special landscapes around the world. We feel honoured to be able to fund more projects than ever before in 2021 and take it as a very strong message that the European outdoor industry is determined to see the world build back better and greener as it moves forward.”.

The public vote will run from 00.01(GMT)/01.01 (CET) on 26 March, until 12.00midday (BST)/ 13.00 (CEST) on 9 April. Participants can vote once in each category HERE The Forest category will also be hosted on the Suston Magazine website HERE 

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The funding that EOCA and Original Buff, S.A. have given Ennerdale's Squirrel Woodlands has enabled us to make a massive step change in our conservation of red squirrels, allowing us to purchase equipment, employ local people and support the local community in extending native woodlands and helping keep red squirrels in the valley. The simple funding process has meant we can focus on doing real tangible stuff on the ground"
Gareth Browning, Wild Ennerdale