European Outdoor Conservation Association


Organizational profile: 
European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is a not-for-profit, charitable organization. According to EOCA, the outdoor sector and the millions of people who enjoy the great outdoors are active champions for the conservation of nature and wild places. Directly funding specific projects, the association wants to show that the European outdoor industry is committed to putting something back into the environment, and all working together a real difference can be made. There are currently over 150 members of this 'not-for profit' Association, stretching from Norway to Spain and from the UK across to the Czech Republic. 
EOCA is looking to fund projects which benefit biodiversity in a wild landscape. EOCA’s 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. This focus on biodiversity will also address the importance that EOCA places on the issue of climate change. Projects should ensure that the habitats being conserved are those that sequester carbon, reduce emissions, enable adaptations to climate change, and/or protect against further habitat and biodiversity loss. It is also very important that the projects are beneficial to the local communities that live in, or near, these habitats. Projects should highlight how they encourage local stewardship of habitats, alleviate poverty, support local ecosystem services, while at the same time, having a link to outdoor enthusiasts who value these precious wild spaces. Projects funded include replanting of native ‘virgin’ forest in the Czech Republic and the saving of an ancient forest in Sweden from logging. Also, in 2018, EOCA and its members had successfully achieved - and in fact beaten -its target of planting/restoring over 2 million trees.
Financing Instrument: Grants
Project scale: up to €30,000 per project; Over the last 13 years, the European Outdoor Conservation Association has funded 121 projects in 54 different countries to the tune of €3 million.
Recipient countries regions/country groups: Global, except US and Canada - where the Conservation Alliance provides funding for conservation efforts from the North American outdoor industry.
Recipient categories: NGOs
Eligibility Criteria: 
Nonprofit organizations can apply to EOCA for grants of up to €30,000 to implement a conservation project of up to 24 months in duration in any country around the world except the US and Canada. 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.

The types of projects EOCA will NOT support (unless they are primarily hands-on conservation-based / linked with local biodiversity loss/education about conservation etc.) are:

  • Projects in urban areas
  • 100% community or social projects
  • 100% research / PhD's / MSC's / expeditions / conference attendance
  • 100% education projects
  • Building projects
  • Installation of alternative energy
  • Alternative / sustainable transport
  • Waste management projects (unless linked to a detrimental effect on local biodiversity/education of recreational users of the area). This includes local community recycling / incinerating projects.
  • Animal welfare and rehabilitation of captive animals

EOCA will also NOT support projects:

  • Which are party political or linked to religious groups
  • Covering general overheads, maintenance costs or salary payments
  • Seeking the acquisition of buildings
  • Promoting violent or illegal action
  • Involving lobbying governments/campaigning on environmental issues

Application guidelines: 

  • Applications for funding are invited from 1-15 June and 1-15 November. Please keep checking EOCA official website for any further updates.
  • Project applications are shortlisted according to their ability to meet EOCA's criteria for funding. 
  • The projects to successfully win funding will be chosen from the shortlist via a public vote and/or an EOCA's members vote (in March for applications received in November and October for applications received in June).
  • The public vote involves some effort on the part of the projects involved, to mobilize supporters and generate votes for their project over a two-week period. However, the process also gives projects a very valuable opportunity to raise the profile and awareness of their organization and its work in an international arena.
  • Members of EOCA can nominate up to three projects (from different, or the same organizations) each year. If the applicant does not have any personal contacts to EOCA's members, please do not worry and just apply directly.
Publication Date
Saturday, 26 March 2022
Applicable location
Forest conservation and management
Climate change
Biodiversity conservation
Financing opportunities