The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is inviting applications for its grant program to fund projects which benefit biodiversity in a wild landscape.
The 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.
The TWO MAIN areas that MUST be addressed in your application are:
- Protect, enhance or restore threatened key species, habitats or broader ecosystems in ‘wild’ areas: EOCA defines ‘wild’ areas as non-urban environments and ecosystems occurring in as natural a state as possible, given the area’s location and use. This may include for example moorland, hills, mountains, coasts, rivers, forest, grassland, peatland and ocean areas. ‘Key’ species, habitats or ecosystems are defined here as those which are threatened, those which play a ‘keystone’ function, or those which are indicators of broader ecosystem health. The project must identify and address the key threats to the species, habitats or broader ecosystems, and how it will protect and /or enhance them. Innovative solutions to ‘old’ problems will be especially welcome!
- Consider the needs of the outdoor enthusiast: As highlighted above, the project must enhance the experience of outdoor enthusiasts as well as protecting the identified species, habitat or broader ecosystem from any negative impact by their visits. Projects may, for example, enhance a visitor’s experience by protecting a threatened species they might then see, or protect an area by ensuring trails / rock faces / waterways and /or associated information / education keeps visitors from damaging fragile habitats or disturbing vulnerable wildlife.
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.
- Your application should include 3 easily identifiable and measurable outcomes to show how the project. They should consider:
- Conservation measures addressing specific issues and root causes: What are the identified threats to the species / habitat / ecosystem? What are the impacts of these threats? How are these threats going to be eliminated, alleviated or better managed? How will the habitat / ecosystem be protected, enhanced or restored? How will the project deliver the desired outcomes? How will the experience for the local community, the visitors and the habitat be enhanced in the long term?
- Involvement / engagement of local people: In order for a project to be sustainable, it is vital that local people are fully engaged. If local communities and also communities of interest are not involved, they may not feel any need or desire to ensure that the good work that has been started continues into the future. Obviously, if specialist work needs to be carried out, relevant experts may need to be brought in, but wherever possible, projects will involve the local community, giving them ownership of the project and its outcomes, and contributing to their livelihoods during and after the project.
- Education and communication: Education and communication should be aimed at both local communities and visitors. Education should include communicating responsible ways of enjoying the project area, suggestions as to how visitors and locals can reduce threats to the species, habitat or ecosystem, and ways in which they can help protect the biodiversity of the project area. How will you reach the potential visitors to the area effectively and communicate with the local community, and how will this process continue once EOCA’s funding for the project has finished?
- How your project helps mitigate against climate change: This may include restoring, conserving and protecting habitats and ecosystems which store and/or capture carbon for example. Projects must also:
- Be measurable and time orientated: The work must demonstrate clear and measurable impacts over its duration (up to 24 months). What indicators can be measured to evidence impact? For example, if training is given, how will you measure it’s success? If anti-poaching measures are used, how will you assess their effectiveness?
- Provide a legacy: The beneficial effects of the project should be sustained beyond the duration of the project. What processes will be set up to ensure the work that has been started will continue to be monitored and managed in the long term? How will the project benefit the livelihoods of the local people or the local economy both during and after the project?
- 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).
- 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 the 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.
For more information, visit https://www.eocaconservation.org/project-info.cfm?pageid=20