Membership, Mountain Protection, UIAA

A total of 24 projects operational in more than 30 countries and on six continents have been nominated for the 2020-2021 UIAA Mountain Protection Award. The 2020-2021 Award is the most global in terms of applicants and second highest in terms of numbers since the Award’s launch in 2013.

“The variety and quality of applications received is impressive. Many of the different initiatives that are being put together by passionate individuals and teams across the world’s mountains surprised and inspired me – congratulations to everyone! Who knows if some of the ideas and projects will be powerful enough to move mountains? We are excited to continue working with the mountain community to protect them,” explains Ansgar Fellendorf of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), one of the Award assessors.

Ansgar’s colleague and fellow assessor Jessica Bitsch added: “The submitted projects are a great source of inspiration. These innovative ideas for sustainable development in mountain regions reconcile environmental, social and economic perspectives and needs. The practical approaches for their implementation are equally impressive. Congratulations to all the project members for putting their hearts and minds at the service of people and nature. These efforts are vital, as mountain ecosystems host most of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and supply freshwater to an estimated half of humanity.”

Credit: Himalayan Circuit

The projects will be showcased on the dedicated Award platform and across social media from 29 June. There are three prizes on offer – best new initiative, runner-up (receiving 5,000 euros) and overall winner (receiving 10,000 euros). The Award winner will be announced at the UIAA General Assembly on 23 October. Since 2019, the Award has been partnered by the Swiss luxury brand Bally.

The UIAA Mountain Protection Award recognises sustainability-focused projects supported by UIAA member associations which engage mountaineers and climbers directly in their initiatives. Nominated projects will now be fully scrutinised by the Award Assessment Team.

The 2020-2021 Award, combined because of the Covid-19 pandemic, welcomes a range of projects from organisations showcased previously to those applying for the first time, with a vast span of interests including youth, hiking trails, tackling pollution, climate change, creating sustainable national parks, clean-up campaigns and projects focused on women.

The full list of nominated projects is:

Hišimy̓awiƛ (Gathering Together) by Alpine Club of Canada Vancouver Island Section

Mountains are calling for YOUth by Active Zone Outdoor

Europe (Alps)
Bergsteigerdoerfer (Mountaineering Villages) by International steering board of Mountaineering Villages

The No Bins Project by Zero Dechet Mont Blanc

Hong Kong/Nepal/France/Thailand
Seeking Clean Air by Far North Productions

Empowering Himalayan Communities through Impact Adventure by Global Himalayan Expeditions

Green Mountain Route by I.R. Iran Mountaineering & Sport Climbing Federation IMSCF
Iran Mountain Shelter Reconstruction by IMSCF Mountain Protection Commission
First Persian Mountain Environment Book by Amin Moein
Registering Tang-Sayad and Sabzkouh mountainous areas as UNESCO biosphere reserves by Akhtar Sepehr Sepahan CO

Outdoor Recreation Digital Management System by Clare Local Development Company
The MacGillycuddy Reeks European Innovation Partnership Project & Mountain Access Forum by MacGillycuddy Reeks European Innovation Partnership Project/South Kerry Development Partnership

Giroparchi Nature Trails by Fondation Gran Paradiso

Togetherness for the Sustainability of the Mountain Trails by Himalayan Circuit
#SkiSnowboardNepal by Ski and Snowboard Foundation Nepal

Papa New Guinea
Establishing a new walking way by Jack Parr Ecotourism and Cultural Site

Establishment of the “Ch’acco Huayllascca Climbing Park” by The Wall Climbing Sport Cusco Club

South Africa
Helihack Alien Clearing by the Mountain Club of South Africa MCSA

South America (various countries)
Montaña Limpia (Clean Mountain) by Acceso PanAm

Sustainable waste evacuation by commercial drones by Exped Tribe Inh. Davide Guzzardi

Clean-up Tour by Summit Foundation

Clean Energy and Women on the Roof of the World by The Little Earth

United Kingdom
H2O Community Hub Scheme by British Mountaineering Council (BMC)

Mountain Women of the World by Feminist Hiking Collective


Bally is a Swiss luxury brand established in 1851, with a rich heritage in shoemaking, and a longstanding relationship to architecture, arts and the environment. Today, the brand offers unique designs across shoes, accessories and ready-to-wear, driven by a dedication to craftsmanship and a contemporary aesthetic. Bally has over 300 retail stores and 500 multi-brand points of sale that span across 66 countries worldwide, including a global e-commerce platform serving 34 countries. For more information, please visit Bally.com

Main photo: credit Seeking Clean Air by Far North Productions