Ethical Code for Expeditions

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Ethical Code for Expeditions

On 15 October 1982 the International Union of Alpinist Associations (UIAA) adopted various principles contained in the “Kathmandu Declaration” regarding mountain activities.

Considering that this Declaration concerns the protection of the mountains as well as the population of the Host Countries and their environment, it seems necessary, taking into account the present development of expeditions, that the Declaration be complemented by a Code. This Code will guide mountaineers on their conduct before, during, and after an expedition.

On the proposal of the UIAA Expeditions Commission, the UIAA General Assembly adopted the principles enumerated in the following Ethical Code and requests the member associations to publicise them and exhort expeditions to respect them.

The Expedition must:

1. Respect the regulations of the host country. This means that before it enters the Host Country it must be fully aware of the regulations, and have the means and the equipment to comply with them. The expedition must be prepared for all aspects and needs of their trip.
2. Respect the 1982 Kathmandu Declaration.
3. Maintain and develop the sporting nature of expeditions in the pure spirit of Alpinism, which implies that the expedition will:
• adopt logistics and tactics in line with the evolution of modern Himalayan climbing.
• avoid the use of financial or material means which are out of proportion to the target.
• refuse to use artificial means or drugs, even in order to achieve success.
4. Whatever tactic and strategy are adopted, behave in a way which preserves the safety of all, especially valley porters, HA porters, expedition members, etc from the host country.
5. Ensure that expedition members from the host country take part as much as possible in the expedition’s technical activities in order to start or extend their training in alpinism.
6. After the expedition, give true, objective and precise information about the progress of the expedition, the problems encountered, the results obtained and any useful documentary information.
7. Avoid the alteration or exaggeration of facts, especially for publicity purposes, in any articles about the expedition, as well as in the media.
8. Give evidence of solidarity and mutual aid, not only within the expedition, but also with local people and other expeditions which might be in trouble.
9. Respect the equipment etc of other expeditions and refrain from using them without their approval.
10. At the end of the stay, in the spirit of the Kathmandu Declaration, leave the mountain as clean as possible, especially in the matter of removing fixed ropes, HA camps, etc.

Text adopted by the UIAA Advisory Committee and the General Assembly in Marrakesh, 9 October 1987.

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