April 12, 2021 EOCA Announces Spring Conservation Winners
Following a rigorous selection procedure and record-breaking public vote, EOCA announces the 3 recipients of this Spring’s funding. Find out if your favorite project won!
The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) ran its Spring 21 Vote for Conservation between March and April, where they called on outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers to get involved in choosing projects that address biodiversity loss for EOCA to fund, from a shortlist of carefully selected projects. The shortlisted projects from around the world, were arranged into 3 categories, and the Forest category was presented on both the EOCA and the Suston websites. With all votes now counted, there’s no doubt conservation still ranks highly on people’s minds, even in the midst of a pandemic:
“There was a huge response to the vote, with nearly 70,000 votes cast in total – one of the most, if not the most votes ever cast for an EOCA vote,” shares EOCA’s general manager Catherine Savidge, who continues:
“The response to the vote really seems to demonstrate the need for good news and the desire to support positive actions at the moment world wide.”
The funding is awarded to 3 categories – Wild Places, Water and Forests.
Walk the Trail! Bog Protection in Patagonia, Argentina.
Removing Biological Invasions in Coastal Ecosystems, Brazil
Saving La Primavera’s last wildlife corridor for pumas, Mexico
Suston Partners in “Forest” Category
EOCA partnered with Suston to present the “Forest” category vote, which received a total of roughly 30.000 votes! The winner, La Primavera Forest, is a project that aims to conserve the last wildlife corridor for larger mammals around the Biosphere Reserve “Bosque La Primavera” (BLP) in Jalisco, Mexico, which covers 30,500 ha of oak-pine and tropical deciduous forest.
Project spokesperson Arturo Balderas Torres shares:
“We gratefully admire the generosity of EOCA as an organization and its sponsors for supporting projects anywhere in the world, projects that have the potential to conserve unique ecosystems and species, mitigate climate change, and positively transform local realities.”
The region hosts many species, including pumas, and cannot provide a viable habitat area for them if connections to other forests are not conserved. Moreover, for Mexico’s second largest city Guadalajara, this means forest fires and land-use change drives biodiversity loss.
The Centre for Research and Projects in Environment and Development (CIPAD) has partnered with local organisations and communities to conserve the last active wildlife corridor towards the Ahuisculco mountains since 2010, and now needs to restore 10 ha of critical habitat using 10,000 native tree species. This will link the mountains to the reserve, enabling wildlife to travel between both. The project will monitor biodiversity in the area with camera traps, and run a communication and awareness campaign.
With the EOCA vote, Arturo believes the awareness campaign is already well underway:
“The voting process also served to convey a key message to the population about something that the majority was not aware of. Many people did not know that there are pumas in the La Primavera Forest nor why biological corridors are important for them; knowing more about this problem motivated them even more to get involved in the solution.”
Photo: Antonio Márquez and Francisco Quintero