The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) public vote has come to a close, after four weeks of intense campaigning and voting. In total 3 projects have been selected to receive funding, 57,000 votes have been recorded and well over 8.5 million people have been reached worldwide!
During the last four weeks, the public has been encouraged to go to the website of EOCA or the website of 7 magazine partners, and read details of a number of shortlisted conservation projects all looking for their vote. The projects were presented in three categories: Alpine projects (projects at high altitudes), Outdoor projects (projects linked to outdoor activities such as hiking and biking) and Nature projects (projects to conserve particular threatened species or habitats which outdoor users enjoy observing). The project with the highest number of votes in each category is to receive funding from EOCA this year of up to €30,000.
‘The response to the voting process has been tremendous’ said Catherine Savidge, Joint General Manager of EOCA. ‘As well as our magazine partners, the projects featured in the process managed to spread the message far and wide. Features appeared in The Saturday Times in the UK, on 4 radio shows in Spain, and spread rapidly via social media particularly in Romania. We are stil calculating the reach of this processs, but already we know it is well over 8.5 million people due to everyone’s efforts. We have had 110,000 unique visits to our website, and received 57,000 votes. As well as choosing 3 worthwhile conservation projects for EOCA to fund, the process has really demonstrated that the consumers are interested in what we are doing and do support the conservation efforts being funded by our members.
Nat Page from Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania, one of the winning projects, said ‘ we were delighted to be involved in such a stimulating campaign and thrilled to secure over 10,600 votes for our project. It was a very valuable experience for us, enabling us to network widely with young Romanians, corporations, universities and NGOs to spread the message about our project and EOCA’s funding. We are very grateful to the members of EOCA who have made this funding possible and we very much look forward to working with the association as we implement our project to establish a mountain bike trail in Romania, bringing benefits to the threatened Târnava Mare landscape.’