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European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)

European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), created in 2006 by companies operating in the outdoor industry, aims to collect funds to help to finance environmental projects. The Petzl Foundation is member of this association since its creation, in 2006.

Support of the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)
The association now has almost 70 members, each of which can submit up to three projects per year.
Two projects supported by the Petzl Foundation, Phenoclim in 2007 and Makay Nature in 2009, received an award. They won a cash prize of 30,000 euros each, which allowed them to successfully complete their projects!
In 2010, five projects for the protection of the environment were supported by EOCA, bringing the total amount the outdoor industry had put into conservation worldwide to €640,000:


  Bumblebee Habitat and Coastal Path Extension, UK : The project aims to provide habitat to support and expand one of the few remaining populations of the shrill carder bee, which is thought to be on the verge of extinction in the UK. The project will support a wide variety of other flora and fauna as well as providing an attractive new route for walkers with opportunities to learn about the value of the habitats at and around the Castlemartin range in Pembrokeshire on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. 




  Sri Lanka Mangrove Swamp Restoration : Mangrove forests are unique habitats, adapted to the living conditions of brackish estuaries and coastal areas. In no other biotope is the same habitat shared by so many different creatures, salt and freshwater species as well as sea and land organisms. Also, all mangrove species have extensive root systems that serve as a barrier against tidal waves. This particular area consists of 10 major wetland vegetation types and 303 species of plants. Over the past 100 years, about 50% of the world’s mangrove forests have been irrecoverably lost.

The main objective is to facilitate the sustainable community management of Mangrove Ecosystems of the Madampa Lake Wildlife Sanctuary in Sri Lanka. This wildlife sanctuary is an extensive lake system facing several threats due to uncontrolled community activities such as land reclamation, dumping of household and industrial waste, and the logging of mangrove trees for timber and firewood. The project aims to increase the communities’ understanding of the importance of the mangrove ecosystem through long term educational programmes and empowering communities in implementing mangrove conservation programmes. 




  Acquiring and Replanting Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil : Working with several organizations, the Breathe Foundation’s 2010 main focus is the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil. Now less than 7% of its original size, UNESCO has identified it as one of the five highest biodiversity hotspots in the world. Farming, illegal logging and poaching is pushing this area towards ecological collapse, diversity being replaced by monoculture. The main focus of this project is one of guardianship, reforestation and education. Funded by a carbon offset programme, memberships and donations, the 10 year goal is to reclaim 700,000m2 of forest, creating an intact ecological corridor which will then be registered protected via Brazillian Environmental law. 



  School Extensions and Forest Protection : Pipar is a 42km square rhododendron forest at 3322m on a spur of the Machhapuchare Peak in the Annapurna Conservation area and home to 5 out of 6 of Nepal’s Himalayan pheasant species. Since 1983, the WPA has worked closely with the local village of Karuwa, closest to the conservation area, helping to resource teaching facilities, pay for teaching staff and equipment in return for the villagers’ using the forest only as they had always done, for their own needs, and not for commercial gain i.e. not for hunting, collecting medicinal plants and mushrooms or cutting timber in the pheasant breeding season. The pheasant population has remained stable in all this time and the project has been held up as a model project.




  Elephant Corridors in India : After much research, the Wildlife Trust of India has published a comprehensive list of 88 corridors throughout India that are critical to the long term survival of the Asian Elephant. Corridors comprise the unprotected lands between fragments of protected areas. These areas are increasingly human dominated, resulting in high levels of human-wildlife conflict (destruction of crops, buildings and even human life). Securing the corridors involves sensitising local communities to the option of voluntarily relocating outside the conflict zones to safer areas, with their own land and improved housing. It would also have great conservation value, preventing further fragmentation of the continuous forest habitat by encroachment from urban areas, as well as providing continued refuge for tiger, elephant, sambar, marsh crocodile, gharial and over 575 species of bird.


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