EOCA Becomes an Ally of the Natural Climate Solutions Initiative

EOCA is delighted to become an ally of the Natural Climate Solutions initiative, so joining forces with George Monbiot, Greta Thunberg, the Leonard Di Caprio Foundation and many others, to recognise, call for and enable the restoration of ecosystems to prevent climate breakdown. The aim of the initiative is to prevent climate breakdown by restoring our life support systems. This is an initiative of George Monbiot, writer, journalist and environmental campaigner, together with Charlie Latimer, Pat Stirling and Al Boardman – all passionate about the environment and the great outdoors.

By supporting the efforts of others – including those listed as allies, the initiative wants to help bring together two issues that have mostly been considered in isolation: climate breakdown and ecological breakdown. Natural Climate Solutions are a bridge between the two. Other Allies of the initiative alongside EOCA, listed as “wonderful organisations working hard to highlight and implement Natural Climate Solutions” include the UN environment programme, Friends of the Earth, Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation, Wilderness Society, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Worldwide Fund for Nature and Sierra Club.

When living systems – like forests, peat bogs, salt marshes and the seabed – are allowed to recover, they draw down carbon from the atmosphere, reducing the chances of climate catastrophe. Their restoration will also minimise extinction and ecological collapse, and create a richer world of wonders for us to enjoy and explore. The initiative is calling on governments, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other bodies to give Natural Climate Solutions the attention they deserve. With this in mind, an open letter has been sent to the UNCBD, UNFCCC, governments and NGOs and signed by significant figures. It was published in the Guardian on 3 April 2019.

Catherine Savidge, Joint General Manager of EOCA said “The large number of conservation projects which EOCA fund around the world restoring habitats and ecosystems, benefit wildlife, people and help mitigate against climate change. We are delighted to be part of this initiative and to offer the European outdoor industry and outdoor enthusiasts a way in which they can contribute to mitigating against climate change. The more members we have and the more money we raise, the more projects we can support to benefit the planet that we all depend on.”

Open Letter:

Published in the Guardian on April 3 2019.

The world faces two existential crises, developing with terrifying speed: climate breakdown and ecological breakdown. Neither is being addressed with the urgency needed to prevent our life support systems from spiralling into collapse. We are writing to champion a thrilling but neglected approach to averting climate chaos while defending the living world: Natural Climate Solutions. This means drawing carbon dioxide out of the air by protecting and restoring ecosystems.

By defending, restoring and re-establishing forests, peatlands, mangroves, salt marshes, natural seabeds and other crucial ecosystems, very large amounts of carbon can be removed from the air and stored. At the same time, the protection and restoration of these ecosystems can help to minimise a sixth great extinction, while enhancing local people’s resilience against climate disaster. Defending the living world and defending the climate are, in many cases, one and the same.

This potential has so far been largely overlooked. We call on governments to support Natural Climate Solutions with an urgent programme of research, funding and political commitment. It is essential that they work with the guidance and free, prior and informed consent of indigenous people and other local communities. This approach should not be used as a substitute for the rapid and comprehensive decarbonisation of industrial economies. A committed and well-funded programme to address all the causes of climate chaos, including Natural Climate Solutions, could help us hold the heating of the planet below 1.5C. We ask that they are deployed with the urgency these crises demand.

  • Greta Thunberg, activist
  • Margaret Atwood, author
  • Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science
  • Naomi Klein, author and campaigner
  • Mohamed Nasheed, former president, Republic of Maldives
  • Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Dia Mirza, actor, producer and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador
  • Brian Eno, musician and artist
  • Philip Pullman, author
  • Bill McKibben, author and campaigner
  • Simon Lewis, Professor of Global Change Science
  • Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, presenter and author
  • Charlotte Wheeler, Forest Restoration Scientist
  • David Suzuki, scientist and author
  • Anohni, musician and artist
  • Asha de Vos, marine biologist
  • Yeb Saño, activist
  • Bittu Sahgal, Founder, Sanctuary Nature Foundation
  • John Sauven, Executive Director, Greenpeace UK
  • Craig Bennett, CEO, Friends of the Earth
  • Ruth Davis, Deputy Director of Global Programmes at RSPB
  • Rebecca Wrigley, Chief Executive, Rewilding Britain
  • George Monbiot, journalist

About EOCA

The European Outdoor Conservation Association is an initiative from the European outdoor industry with the objective of protecting the wild areas it cares so passionately about. Designed to harness the incredible power of the outdoor industry and to raise money to donate to grassroots conservation groups, the European Outdoor Conservation Association is funded by membership and other fundraising activities within the outdoor industry. 100% of membership fees go to the support of projects. Membership is open to anyone that can demonstrate an involvement in the European outdoor industry.

From January 2015, a select group of ‘Sustaining Members’ have pledged their support to EOCA by committing to fund the sustainable growth of the organisation with an extra €10,000 per year for the next three years, over and above their annual membership fee. This money will be used to finance the running of the Association and support its sustainable growth, also enabling a move to 2 funding rounds per year.

The current EOCA Sustaining Members are Pertex, KEEN Footwear, Nikwax, ISPO and OutDoor by ISPO (Messe München), and the European Outdoor Group (EOG), which is also the Founder Member of the Association.