And here it is! The news you have been waiting for – all 10 projects (which is a record in itself) that EOCA will be supporting in the 2011/12 funding round.
2011 is going to be a hard act to follow! Following nearly 50 nominations for projects in 2010, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) received an unprecedented 66 nominations from its members for conservation projects in 2011. Following this, 31,000 consumers across Europe got involved in helping to choose those that would eventually be funded. Not content to stop there, and with help from one single member, who is funding 3 projects in their entirety, the total number of projects supported this year will be a record-breaking 10, in 7 different countries. This brings the support the outdoor industry has given to conservation in 5 years to 860,000 Euros – a giant leap forward to putting its first 1 million Euros into conservation by 2012!!
Following a successful pilot project last year with Trail Magazine in the UK, EOCA set up partnerships with 4 national magazines across Europe, to encourage members of the public to get involved by choosing which projects should be supported in the Association’s 2001/12 funding round. In conjunction with Trail (UK), Sport Partner, Bike & Trekking and Lift magazines (The Netherlands), Alpin (Germany) and National Geographic Germany, shortlisted projects were showcased both in the magazines and online, and the general public were then asked to go to the magazines’ websites to vote. And vote they did, in their thousands! 31,036 to be precise!
This process showed what the outdoor industry is doing in terms of conservation, but also highlighted how many consumers care about nature conservation and are passionate enough about it to get involved.