Czech project on large carnivore conservation won the international competition
Created on: 3.4.2012
Friends of the Earth Czech Republic, Association of environmental NGOs Green circle, Rock Point (common press release)
The Czech project helping the return of large carnivores in the Beskydy Mountains, West Carpathians, won the world competition for the grant from European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA).
Proposal prepared by Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA Olomouc) have reached the final of the Nature category, supported by National Geographic Germany among six other projects selected by a scientific committee.
Hnutí DUHA Olomouc has dealt with large carnivore conservation for ten years. Experiences, scientific results and original method of fight against poaching is one of the reasons why the project made it to the finals.
The final order of projects was decided by public involved in internet voting. Czech project have received almost a third of all votes and won the competition.
"It is an incredible success. At the beginning, we didn't believe at all that we could succeed against such strong competition. Lynx and wolves belong to the rarest species of our nature. Our project will protect them from poachers and help them with their return to the Czech forests. It is a big commitment for us the project has won. We are very glad about people willing large carnivores to return and that they have helped us. We thank all who supported our work in the voting", said Miroslav Kutal from Friends of the Earth, Czech Republic.
The winning project is based on continuing of the successful wolf patrols, protecting rare carnivores from poachers and monitoring of wolves and lynx on both sides of Czech-Slovak border. Education activities in schools and villages and protection of existing wildlife corridors are also important parts of the project. More information about this project is mentioned in the previous article. Any interested person from the public willing to be involved in the field work of wolf patrols can join at www.selmy.cz
The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is an initiative from the European outdoor industry with the objective of protecting the wild areas it cares so passionately about. The competition of the best project is organized each year. The project by Hnuti DUHA was one out of three proposed by Czech representative - Rock Point company with the cooperation of Association environmental NGOs. See more about EOCA at www.outdoorconservation.eu/about-us.cfm.
"We have a great pleasure for getting a support for this very interesting project and for bringing significant funding for nature conservation to the Czech Republic. Our pleasure is much bigger concerning the fact the decision was made on the base of European public voting. This is a prove of the quality of the project and also our common ability to involve a part of our society for voting. During our five-year membership in EOCA it is the fourth Czech project that gets the funding. We would be glad if EOCA grants become a stable source of finance for non-profit sector in the Czech Republic. We thank all who supported the project in the voting", said Tomáš Skala from the company Rock Point.
"Association of environmental NGOs Green circle in the cooperation with the company Rock Point organize the national round of the competition. We are glad that nominated organizations are able to succeed in international competition. Also this year we are preparing the national round and the victory of project of Hnutí DUHA Olomouc is the great motivation for other environmental organizations that hesitated with their involving in the competition", add Zdeňka Šimková from the Association of environmental NGOs Green circle.
Tanya Bascombe, general manager of EOCA, said:
"This was a really tough competition, and at one point there were only 240 votes separating the top 4 projects. But Hnuti DUHA did an amazing job of mobilising their supporters and by the end were over 2,000 votes ahead of their nearest rivals. We are thrilled to be able to fund this vital project and are very much looking forward to working with them."