CAST YOUR VOTE AND HELP PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT
Readers of The Great Outdoors can help choose which of these six worldwide conservation projects will receive funding.
Every year, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) allocates funding to worthwhile environmental projects chosen by its members and by the general public. This year, there are six projects in the ‘outdoor’ category – and you have the opportunity to help choose which one will receive a cash donation.
TROSSACHS GATEWAY PROJECT, SCOTLAND
Nominated by Messe Friedrichshafen
The Great Trossachs Forest is an ambitious venture by RSPB Scotland, Woodland Trust Scotland and Forestry Commission Scotland to restore 160km2 of felled native forest in 200 years. The project aims to restore degraded habitats in the heart of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park by planting thousands of trees and also includes the completion of The Great Trossachs Path, a long-distance trail which will connect the West Highland Way to the Rob Roy Way and a number of other routes.
OTTER RIVERS RESTORATION, CZECH REPUBLIC
Nominated by Rock Point
Waterways have been narrowed, made shallower, shortened and regulated in the Czech Republic over the last 100 years, leading to habitat loss and flash floods. The project will empower the public to improve the environment of critically endangered otters and other species in nine selected areas, where ‘regulated waterways’ will be restored to natural conditions. This should also eliminate flash flooding and create hubs for outdoor enthusiasts.
TRAILBUILDING ON LAKE BAIKAL, SIBERIA
Nominated by Vaude
With the ecosystem of the world’s deepest lake under threat from large scale tourism, the project aims to establish sustainable tourism on the remote north-west coastline around Peak Tsherskovo, the area’s highest mountain, and the Cape Kotelnikov hot springs. 100km of trails will be reconditioned and facilities including picnic and camping areas, toilets and firepits, waste collection and info points will be installed. It will provide an opportunity for environmental education, and local people will be trained as nature guides.
ECO TOURISM AND WILDLIFE PRESERVATION IN SIMIEN MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK, ETHIOPIA
Nominated by KEEN
The magnificent Simien Mountains National Park – which is home to the Ethiopian wolf, the world’s rarest canine, the Gelada baboon and the endangered Walia ibex – is under threat from agriculture and livestock encroachment as a result of sparse economic opportunities for nearby communities. The project will renovate campsites, improve signs and hiking trails, provide tourism training and jobs for locals, and support rangers to monitor and protect wildlife.
COASTAL RESCUERS, SWEDEN
Nominated by HuginBiz
Wildlife and tourism on Sweden’s west coast is under threat from large volumes of marine litter which is brought in from the North East Atlantic via the Jutska Gyre. The project will encourage locals to get involved in beach clean ups, increase environmental awareness and raise marine litter issues with politicians.
PROJECTE RIUS: JOINING PEOPLE AND RIVERS, CATALONIA, SPAIN
Nominated by Goal Zero
Mediterranean fluvial ecosystems are threatened by exploitation, contamination, deforestation, invasive species and climate change. Projecte Rius coordinates more than 1,000 environmental volunteers in Catalonia each year to improve stretches of river. Additional funding will help to coordinate their work, and provide the opportunity to publish volunteers’ experiences to gain support from the public and relevant authorities. At least three restoration activities will be developed and implemented, at the same time improving access for outdoor enthusiasts.