The European Outdoor Conservation Association (Eoca) has announced the first five projects it will get funding as part of its 2 Million Tree Campaign, the ambitious plan it launched in 2016 to plant and/or regenerate two million trees around the world.

Funding will go to a project by Blue Ventures, a marine conservation organization, for the restoration of mangrove forests in Madagascar. The project is to enable five community mangrove management associations each to plant 10 hectares of mangroves that have been deforested for charcoal production. The second project, by WeForest, is related to India's cloud forest. In this case, Eoca money will go for the restoration of 102 hectares with around 85,000 trees from regeneration and planting of native species. According to Eoca, this project will directly involve 1,240 people, who will gain income from the project through tree planting, guiding and other activities.

The third funded project is handled by Ripple Africa, an organization that runs grassroots initiatives in Malawi. Eoca money will be used for the Choma Hill area to plant 250,000 trees there, conserve the remaining trees from further deforestation, and protect this potential ecotourism destination from charcoal production.

The fourth funded project has been proposed by Yayasan Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI) in Borneo. ASRI works to improve both environmental and human health around the Gunung Palung National Park, which is home to 5-10 percent of the world's orangutans. ASRI also operates a health clinic there, which offers discounted healthcare to communities in exchange for reductions in illegal logging, and targeted conservation initiatives. The project funded by Eoca is aimed at the establishment of an arboretum and educational trail around the healthcare center. It will involve the rehabilitation of a 15-hectare area of forest through natural regeneration (22,500 trees) and planting (25,000 trees).

The fifth project, operated by Mount Kenya Trust, is to restore a 250-hectare area of open grassland that has been illegally cultivated for many years on Mount Kenya, Africa's second highest mountain. Mount Kenya is popular among climbers, cavers, kayakers and bikers. The area, which is also an important water source, is threatened by illegal logging, charcoal production, livestock grazing, poaching and fires.

Meanwhile, Eoca has announced that Original Buff, one of its members, has become a Summit Member by choosing to fund a project for the Fairy Hill, one of Scotland's most iconic hills. The project, which is managed by the John Muir Trust, involves the restoration of native species of trees across the lower sections of the area.

In addition, Eoca has launched a public fundraiser to support another project in Nepal that would add a further 80,000 trees to the planned total as part of its 2 Million Tree Campaign. The project is run by The Mountain Institute, which plans to plant the new trees along three off-the-beaten-track trekking trails, in an area of Nepal that has been damaged by hunting, poaching, illegal timber removal and collection of medicinal and aromatic plants. The project also involves the creation of nurseries and of a sustainable community wood resource to prevent further deforestation. Eoca said it needs to raise €30,000 for the project. Contributions to this project and Eoca's 2 million tree target can be made through www.outdoorconservation.eu.

Eoca has also announced the projects that have been shortlisted for its spring 2017 round. More in the next issue.