The UIAA Mountain Protection Award


The UIAA Mountain Protection Award (MPA) was created in 2013. During its five years of existence, the annual UIAA Mountain Protection Award (MPA) has made a tangible difference to mountain lives, communities and the environment. It has enabled people to raise finances to build key infrastructures, conduct vital research and fulfil pending goals; it has provided an international showcase and communication platform for projects to raise awareness and exchange ideas and initiatives. Not only has it supported local communities, it has fostered its own global community. The Award celebrates innovation and a desire to make a difference.

Read More

Tourism and recreation have an important role to play for the prosperity of communities that live in mountain regions around the world. However, over recent decades, mountain regions have seen a substantial increase in tourism activities and visitor numbers. In some areas, this fast development has resulted in the over-exploitation of natural resources, increased pollution and waste levels, land-use change and disturbance to flora and fauna. The rich yet fragile nature of the mountain ecosystem means that managing human-induced impacts is imperative for the sustainability of these regions in the future.

The three pillars of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) are safety, sport and sustainability. Within this latter category, the MPA is a fundamental part of the federation’s commitment to encouraging and supporting the conservation of natural resources, landscapes and diverse cultures in mountain regions. Through the MPA, the UIAA focuses on the promotion of positive behaviour and education in mountain tourism and recreation, notably in climbing and mountaineering activities.

Interested in your project being showcased
to the UIAA’s global audience?

Download the 2017 UIAA Mountain Protection Award flyer – English, French, German, Italian, Spanish

2017 UIAA Mountain Protection Award Projects

The following projects have been nominated for the 2017 UIAA Mountain Protection Award.

Past Winners & Nominees

2013 – Menz-Guassa Community Conservation Area, Ethiopia

2014 – Pamir Horse Adventure, Tajikistan

2015 – KTK-BELT Studio, Nepal

2016 – Mountain Wilderness, France

2017 – Mount Everest Biogas Project

Latin America: Acceso PanAM
Managing human waste in advance base camps in Patagonia

Lebanon: Mount Zayan
Environmental education and accessible trails for eco-tourists

United Kingdom: Community Action Nepal
Post-earthquake recover programme in Nepalese mountain communities

United States: Clean Climbing on Denali
The removal of all waste

United States: Mount Everest Biogas Project
Environmentally sustainable solution to the impact of human waste on Mount Everest and beyond

United States: Wilderness Rock Climbing Indicators and Climbing Management Implications
Health of the climbing system as a part of wilderness character in National Park Wilderness

Projects showcased but not nominated for 2017 Award:

Argentina: Waka Thaki
Caminos Sagrados/Sacre Paths

Colombia: NOSTOC
Ecological restoration of the habitat of the spectacled bear

France: Innov Mountains
Digital best practices and portal for mountain sustainability

UIAA Mountain Protection Award Project Showcase

All of the projects showcased as part of the UIAA Mountain Protection Award can be found in the five categories below.

To support the projects please click on the donate button at the foot of each project.

Latest News

Discover More

Who can apply?

The UIAA Mountain Protection Award platform is open to associations working in the mountain environment who are engaged in at least one of the following activities:

Conservation of biodiversity – including plant and animal species

Sustainable energy and resource management

Sustainable waste management and disposal

Adaptation to/mitigation of effects of climate change

Protection of the environment through culture and education

Nominees must also demonstrate engagement and collaboration with local communities to develop a culture of ecotourism initiatives which attract and inspire visitors.

To showcase a project on the MPA platform, you must first submit an application and meet our criteria for inclusion. Applying to have an initiative or project showcased in the UIAA MPA platform is free of charge.

What are the benefits?

Every approved initiative and project submitted to the UIAA MPA is showcased as part of the MPA platform. Becoming part of the UIAA’s global network creates tangible benefits for both the nominees and the Award winner in terms of raising project awareness and support.

All nominees are promoted individually through the UIAA’s social media channels while the project itself is showcased in the monthly UIAA newsletter.

Furthermore, the winning project receives as 5,000 USD financial grant, is featured in a dedicated press release and invited to the UIAA General Assembly.


Discover More

Mount Everest Biogas Project (United States)
2017 UIAA Mountain Protection Award winner

Non-Profit Partners

Mountain Institute

Since 1972 THE MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE (TMI) works with remote mountain communities to address their most critical challenges. Aimed at the preservation of mountain cultural, natural and spiritual resources, TMI focuses on three central themes: conservation of mountain ecosystems, sustainable economic development and support for unique mountain cultures.


United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

UNEP provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. The MPA approach and criteria are based on the UNEP “Mountains: A Practical Guide to Managing the Environmental and Social Impacts of Mountain Tours” (2007).

World Conservation Union

The UIAA works with the World Conservation Union (IUCN) to promote protected areas and access and conservation strategies for climbing. IUCN works to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.


Mountain Research Initiative (MRI)

A multidisciplinary scientific organisation that addresses global change issues in mountain regions around the world.

Sign up to our Newsletter