Executive tackles reform and new Mountain Code

Mountain Protection, Mountaineering

The UIAA is moving forward on issues of key concern to the world’s mountaineering community.

At the recent meeting in Plas Y Brenin in Wales, the Management Committee took action on the reform of UIAA commissions, drafting a “Mountain Code” on ethics and best practices, and examining the role of the UIAA in the Olympic Movement.

The Management Committee (executive level responsible for policy implementation) agreed to merge the Access and Expeditions commissions to improve effectiveness. Clare Bond of the UK will head the new body as president.

Linda McMillan, a leading American conservationist who is an executive with the IUCN – WCPA Mountains Biome body, was formally elected to run the Mountain Protection Commission.

McMillan said her vision was to explore how the UIAA can contribute more to research and mountain protection by working closely with the scientific community.

The Ice Climbing Commission will increase the number of annual competitions in the coming years, while the Youth Commission reported strong growth in participation at international climbing events sponsored by the UIAA.

The Management Committee decided to move quickly on a proposal for a new Mountain Code. The timeframe for introducing the guidelines is ambitious: a draft is to be presented to UIAA member federations for comment by July 15, leading mountaineers will be consulted and the approved text will be made public shortly afterwards in order to solicit additional comment.

A final draft should be ready by the middle of August and presented to the annual meeting of the UIAA General Assembly in October 2009. A working group headed by John Nankervis (New Zealand) will lead the process with the key involvement of Doug Scott (Great Britain).

Approved at the meeting was a revised mission statement. The new wording includes a pledge to preserve traditions, advance safe and ethical practices, promote responsible access and support youth participation and the Olympic movement.

The Italian Alpine Club (CAI) offered to host the 2010 Management Committee meeting in Bormio.