In 2006 the outdoor industry set up an organisation to proactively look after its livelihood and most vital resource – the natural environment. Since then, and from a standing start, the EOG Association for Conservation has funded fourteen projects contributing €300,000 to grass roots conservation projects worldwide. With almost 50 members, the Association this year has reached the impressive half a million Euro funding milestone.
Association members have chosen a further eight extremely diverse and far-ranging projects for 2009. The announcement of those projects took place on the second day of OutDoor in Fridrichshafen, with some of the project representatives giving a brief introduction to their work:
Calla – Association for Conservation of the Environment, Czech Republic
Nominated by Rock Point
Calla has created one of the largest sand martin nest sites in Southern Bohemia over the last 10 years through the management of disused sand pits. With the Association’s help, the project aims to create and restore five further nest sites and three ponds as well as use lectures and excursions to inform and win support from the local public.
CMELAK – New Virgin Forest Project, Czech Republic
Nominated by Rock Point
This project has one of the longest business plans – 300 years! The aim is to transform areas of pine monoculture into mixed forest supporting a high biodiversity through the purchase of land, awareness campaigns and planting tens of thousands of native species saplings.
Naturevolution – Makay Nature Project, Madagascar
Nominated by Petzl
Thanks to its extraordinary and convoluted relief, the Makay mountain range has protected many different and endemic ecosystems, however due to farming and bush fire practices, it has now become a matter of urgency to protect this threatened area. The project aims to draw up an inventory of Makay’s biodiversity, educate local people about the preservation of their natural resources, create eco-tourist trails and obtain Protected Area status.
Euronatur – Germany Brown Bear Conservation, Northern Spain
Nominated by Vaude
Following work to stabilise numbers and improve the habitat of the brown bear population in the western ranges of the Cantabrian Mountains, the project is being awarded funding to improve the situation for the population in the eastern ranges. This will include improving the bear’s food supply, minimising the impact of hunting and poaching, monitoring the status and development of the population and organising age-based educational activities.
Surfers Against Sewage – Campaign Film, UK
Nominated by Patagonia
This project is to produce and distribute an educational film following a well-known professional surfer, initiating a number of campaigns within local communities to protect local surfing areas. The film aims to inspire, educate and mobilise supporters to undertake their own campaigning efforts, linked directly to SAS campaigns, to achieve positive outcomes for their local beach environment.
Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds – Protection of the Red-Footed Falcon
Nominated by Patagonia
This project aims to continue the BSPB’s work for the Red-Footed Falcon which has suffered drastic declines in Bulgaria over the past decade. The project will take place in three regions of Bulgaria and will involve construction, installation and monitoring of specially designed nest boxes, and public awareness/media campaigns to change attitudes and behaviour that harms the species.
Deutscher Alpen Verein – Reconstruction of Gamsscharte, Eastern Alps
Nominated by Messe Friedrichshafen (OutDoor)
The Gamsscharte is an important Alpine passage connecting three refuges in the Tirol, Salzburg and Südtirol. Due to a receding glacier over the last few years, the passage has become so dangerous it has had to be closed. The project involves identifying the course of a new trail and constructing a secure pathway, involving local volunteers.
Biosphere Expeditions – Human-Predator Conflict in Mamili National Park, Caprivi Delta, Namibia
Nominated by Haglöfs
In Mamili National Park there is urgent need to find strategies to resolve conflict between predators and humans, which has led to a significant decline in animal numbers, as well as threatening the lives and livelihoods of local inhabitants. This project involves the fitting of GPS collars to problem animals to enable tracking, alerting communities and relocation if necessary, workshops on animal husbandry and kraal construction (predator-proof cattle holding areas).
The EOG Association for Conservation – Making a difference through Conservation