Nomination period opens for UIAA Mountain Protection Award

24 Feb, 2015

Deadline for submitting nominations for the UIAA Mountain Protection Award is 31 July 2015

Are you an association or a travel agency that works in a mountain environment? 

Is your concern for the need to conserve biodiversity, the use of sustainable and renewable energy and resources, climate change and the protection of the environment reflected in your company or organization’s work?

Do you engage and collaborate with local communities to develop a culture of ecotourism initiatives, which attract and inspire visitors?

If so, then you are eligible to apply for the UIAA Mountain Protection Award for Stewardship.

The award supports community-based tourism that simultaneously contributes to the conservation of ecosystems and sustainable livelihoods for local people. Projects submitted should involve environmental concerns and activities linked with energy efficiency, conservation initiatives, waste management, community activities and water conservation.

It is an opportunity to showcase your company, federated club, or community-based volunteer group or association as an environmentally responsible and sustainable steward of the mountain environment – globally. 

The UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation represents more than 82 national federations around the world with more than 3 million members.

"The award encourages key mountain stakeholder groups—science, sport, and tourism—together with governments, public and private land managers, and conservation organizations, to improve mountain protection around the world by creating and sustaining mountain protection projects that use effective stakeholder collaborations and communications,” said UIAA Mountain Commission President Linda McMillan.

Now in its third year, the nomination period for the award sponsored by Western University and Golden Rock Travel of Azerbaijan is open until 31 July 2015.

This year’s winner will receive the cash prize and international recognition in Seoul, Korea in October 2015 during the annual General Assembly of the UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation. Nominees will also be profiled on the UIAA Mountain Protection Website and promoted through our member and social networks.

Winners are chosen every October by the Assessment and Award Team which coordinates the review and approval/denial of applications of mountain protection initiatives. The Team is composed of internationally recognized experts who are specialists and academics in environment/mountain protection issues, as well as expert members from the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission.

The Menz-Guassa Community Conservation Area (GCCA) situated in the northern highlands of Ethiopia was the first recipient of the UIAA Mountain Protection Award. The conservation area was created in 2003 to protect both a diverse region with rare animals as well as a response to the problem of illegal grazing on environmentally sensitive grasslands. The conservation plan today is based on centuries’ old local Qero communal system of grassland management. 

The 2014 winner was Pamir Horse Adventure, a Tajikistan-based community tour operator, for its conservation and tourism development initiatives in the Pamir Mountains. One of its main goals is to develop horse breeding in the region through promoting cultural events, traditional horseback sports and horseback tours. In parallel, Pamir Horse Adventure raises awareness about endangered species, such as the snow leopard.

The vision and value of the Mountain Protection Award align with the United Nations recent Draft Resolution on Sustainable Development from the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development - Rio+20

About the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission

Since it was founded in 1969, the Mountain Protection Commission has worked to protect the mountains - one of the last natural, unspoilt and free spaces on earth. The goal is to ensure that the mountains will still be there to enjoy for future generations of mountaineers and mountain people. The UIAA is the first organisation to prepare and adopt international declarations about mountain protection such as the Kathmandu Declaration, the Ethical Code for Expeditions and the Environmental Objectives and Guidelines.

The UIAA - International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation was founded in 1932 and has a global presence on five continents with 82 member associations in 63 countries representing more than 3 million people. The organization's mission is to promote the growth and protection of climbing and mountaineering worldwide, advance safe and ethical climbing and mountaineering practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection in mountains. The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the climbing and mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee for climbing and mountaineering.

For media enquiries please contact Valérie Thöni and/or Linda McMillan.

Please click here to explore the UIAA Mountain Protection website for details on how to apply for the award and selection criteria