The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is set to grant €180,000 to conservation projects this autumn and is calling for help to select the projects to receive funds.
Catherine Savidge, Joint General Manager of EOCA said, “Following a summer of carefully assessing and scoring over 70 different funding applications and discussing them with our Scientific Advisers, we are now delighted that we have a shortlist of worthwhile conservation projects, all of which EOCA wishes it could fund. This autumn, EOCA has €180,000 to grant to projects and so is asking for your help to choose which projects receive the funding.”
The public vote will run until noon (BST)/13.00hrs (CEST) on the 21st October. There are three categories of projects and voters can select one project in each category per electronic device. One category is devoted to Plastic Pollution Clean Up actions.
This is in line with EOCA’s current two-year focus on this issue through which the association and its members are aiming to clear 3000 km of habitat of plastic pollution – the distance from the Mediterranean Coast to Lapland. The other two categories of projects have a wide range of other important conservation issues represented from around the world, all with a link to the outdoor enthusiast.
Catherine added, “Repeatedly, we get feedback from projects involved in the vote that taking part brings many benefits to them beyond selecting which projects receive funding. It is an opportunity to raise awareness of their projects on an international platform, and to highlight the critical conservation issue they are working on. Time and again, the projects get support from unexpected places during the vote including national press, TV and radio, celebrities and politicians.”
Following the public vote, an EOCA members-only vote will run from Thursday 24th October until Friday 1 November to choose further projects from the shortlist to receive funding.
Clean-up High Altitude Heritage, Nepal, is typical of the projects EOCA has supported and is one of the contenders in this round of voting. The high Himalayan mountains are a world-famous tourist destination with Langtang National Park having the third most popular heritage trek in Nepal.
It harbours rare and threatened species, such as red panda, snow leopard and clouded leopard as well as endemic and endangered flora. Gosaikunda Lake (alt. 4380m) is a Ramsar site and an important pilgrimage site in park bringing up to 30,000 visitors at various seasons of year.
Over 300 temporary shelters are set up to accommodate visitors in the fragile landscape. Tons of waste are left alongside the trail and around the lake which local people lack capacity to manage. The project will organise three clean-up-campaigns along 31km trail to Gosaikunda and its surroundings, installing bins at 1km intervals of trail to collect and separate waste.
An incinerator will be bought to manage non-recyclable waste and minimise emissions from open burning. It will involve local youths in each activity as well as local government, trekking agencies, communities and schools to keep the area clean and promote eco-tourism.