There is an increasing urgency and awareness of the double threat that our world currently faces: the loss of biodiversity and climate change. These two issues are intrinsically linked, and both are of enormous importance to wildlife, nature, people and the future of the planet.
Imagine standing at a viewpoint, looking out at the environment around you. You can see the highest mountains, the valleys between them, the streams that become a meandering river leading to a lake, to an estuary and then out to the ocean. Within this landscape are a wide variety of different ecosystems, vital for biodiversity, mitigating against climate change, and for communities. These include alpine meadows, forests, peatlands, freshwater habitats, salt marshes, mangroves and seagrass meadows, to name but a few.
EOCA is looking to fund projects which benefit biodiversity in a wild landscape. Our definition of ‘landscape’ includes marine environments, and a broad range of wild, non-urban spaces. Projects must conserve, protect, enhance, restore, and/or reconnect habitats within a given landscape that are particularly important for the biodiversity there.
This focus on biodiversity will also address the importance that EOCA places on the issue of climate change. Projects should ensure that the habitats being conserved are those that sequester carbon, reduce emissions, enable adaptations to climate change, and/or protect against further habitat and biodiversity loss.
It is also very important that the projects are beneficial to the local communities that live in, or near, these habitats. Projects should highlight how they encourage local stewardship of habitats, alleviate poverty, support local ecosystem services, while at the same time, having a link to outdoor enthusiasts who value these precious wild spaces.
Who can apply?
Non profit organisations can apply to EOCA for grants of up to €30,000 to implement a conservation project of up to 24 months in duration in any country around the world except North America (US and Canada – where the Conservation Alliance provides funding for conservation efforts from the North American outdoor industry).
Project applications are shortlisted according to their ability to meet EOCA’s criteria for funding (see below). Using this criteria, the shortlist of projects is drawn up at the sole discretion of the General Managers, the Scientific Advisors and EOCA’s Board of Directors. The General Managers will seek further advice from EOCA’s Scientific Advisors if required. Due to the many diverse nationalities making up the whole panel, all applications must please be written in English.
The projects to successfully win funding will be chosen from the shortlist via a public vote and an EOCA’s members vote (in March for applications received in November and October for applications received in June). The public vote is held in conjunction with a range of national magazines throughout Europe. In Spring 2017, 60.4 million people were reached through this process!
The public vote involves some effort on the part of the projects involved, to mobilise supporters and generate votes for their project over a two week period. However, the process also gives projects a very valuable opportunity to raise the profile and awareness of their organisation and its work in an international arena.
Members of EOCA can nominate up to three projects (from different, or the same organisations) each year. If you, as a conservation organisation, do not have any personal contacts to our members, please do not worry! Just apply directly!
Project applications MUST:
– protect a threatened species or habitat;
– have a link to the outdoor enthusiast (see below); AND
– involve hands-on practical conservation work.
The application deadline is June 30, 2021.