For the third year in succession, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) has held two annual funding rounds, this time allocating a total of €300,000 of funding to projects conserving threatened habitats and having a link to outdoor enthusiasts around the world. During the latest autumn round, 131 conservation organisations applied for funding and five have now been selected through a public vote and a member’s vote to receive funding.
Following receipt of a record breaking number of applications, EOCA’s General Managers and Scientific Advisors used established criteria to rigorously assess all of the applications and produce a shortlist of 15 projects . These projects best fitted the Association’s funding criteria and were deemed the most worthwhile from a conservation point of view. All of these projects were then involved in a public vote hosted on the Association’s website. The projects were divided into three categories; projects addressing water based issues and habitats, those conserving or restoring forests, and those located in mountainous areas. The mountain category vote was also hosted by MountainBlog. Fierce competition lead to over 50,000 votes being cast to select three projects to be funded. These were: