At its 7 April online meeting, members of the UIAA Executive Board team unanimously decided to create a Covid-19 Crisis Consultation (CCC) task force – a lean, crisis-related structure, serving the interests of UIAA members wherever and whenever applicable. The CCC held its first meeting, again online, on 22 April. The meeting counted members of the UIAA EB, Management Committee, Office and individual Commissions.
The CCC’s mission is to provide fast responses to queries and Covid-19-related issues which may arise in the coming months, especially in the expected relaxation phase of confinement measures. Many of these questions are now still unknown. However, the UIAA wishes to have a structure in place to provide answers, to guide people to the relevant government or competent authorities, to a crisis management body, to a competent national federation or to a relevant UIAA commission.
- The CCC task force does not intend to duplicate the work of the UIAA Executive Committee nor to duplicate the initiatives of many national and regional mountaineering and climbing federations
- All CCC task force members and Executive team members are entitled and expected to bring issues to the attention of the group
- The CCC task force does not have a fixed frequency for its meetings. It will meet and communicate whenever an issue or a question arises
The first meeting addressed the subjects, ideas and talking points:
- Confirmation of CCC task force mission and working principles
- To offer a broad view and focus on the global perspective
- Offering guidance, support, best practices – if needed – to member federations
- Promotion of the dedicated UIAA Covid-19 webpage
- Overviews with regards to the actual situation in various countries considering that the development of the pandemic situation is still to a large extent unpredictable
- The long-term and significant impact on health, economy, tourism, society, recreational and sporting activities
- The need to comply with and support local, national rules and actions to contain further uncontrolled spread of virus
- That it is too early to encourage the climbing and mountaineering community to resume activities and to not facilitate the spread of the virus
- Exit scenarios, ‘deconfinement’ rules and relaxation procedures
- Research related to the impact of COVID-19 on lung capacity
The CCC also discussed the Covid-19 website page designed to offer a forum for climbing and mountaineering federations worldwide to share their experiences of managing Covid-19 and for the UIAA to offer resources and information to the climbing community.
Current updates have been published from 34 UIAA members (approx. 36% of all UIAA member federations):
Africa: South Africa
Asia: Israel, India, Hong Kong, Japan, Nepal
Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK as well as the International Skyrunning Federation and International Slackline Association
North America: Canada, USA
Oceania: New Zealand
South America: Brazil
Partners: UIAA accredited laboratories, UIAA Safety Label Holders, WADA
The website page also includes:
- Articles form climbing media covering opinion articles, climbing films, mental health, home training and more
- Links to UIAA statements – including general statements and statements from Commissions and groups on the progress of UIAA activities
The UIAA will continue to post updates from members with the objective of reporting from all 88 member associations. The objective behind collecting this data is to offer members a resource where they can share different experiences, details on the impacts of regulations in their own countries and changes from phase to phase of the pandemic. Already many members have referenced this UIAA resource in their own communications and used it as an inspiration to create their own Covid-19 portals.
In May, the CCC will start developing articles on key subjects such as access, huts, indoor climbing gyms and transportation. Members will have the chance to provide information through dedicated online templates.
The next CCC task force meeting will be held in early May.
Members can share information about Covid-19 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Main photo: Namcha Barwa 7782m W face, Eastern Himalaya. Courtesy of Tom Nakamura, UIAA Honorary Member
UIAA & Covid-19